Why the ambitious plan to power Ariaria market’s 40,000 shops failed
Ariaria's mini-grid solution. Source: Stears Business

When I think of markets in Nigeria, what comes to mind is a chaotically organised setting. I imagine sellers and buyers haggling over goods overflowing from stalls, music and advertising jingles blasting from speakers and motorcycles zooming past. Markets in Nigeria are economic hubs, and one of the biggest we have is the Ariaria market in Aba, Abia state.

Home to almost 40,000 stalls, Ariaria market’s electricity situation is an interesting case study. As will become apparent as you make your way through this article, recent events in Ariaria shine a light (pun intended) on what it takes to power Nigeria. In a survey conducted by the World Bank, 27% of respondents stated that electricity was the biggest obstacle to doing business in Nigeria, second only to lack of access to funding. Being a homeowner in Nigeria is bad enough, but electricity supply is also essential for a business owner.

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Noelle Okwedy

Noelle Okwedy

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