In this interview, the Managing Director, Segun Adaju shares their activities in the clean cookstoves sector.
Give us a brief introduction about your organisation. What are the objectives of your organisation?
Consistent Energy Limited was incorporated in January 2015 with a mission to provide affordable, reliable and clean energy for small businesses for productive uses. With the huge energy deficiency in the country and the impact on productivity and growth, the company was restructured into a private company limited by shares and to take advantage of the huge opportunities that exists in Nigeria for productive uses of renewable energy.
Consistent Energy has played significantly in the clean cookstove sector covering last mille distribution, market development, finance and consultancy. The company has consulted for various organisations such as Heinrich Boell Foundation, ICEED, Ministry of Environment, commercial banks and several microfinance banks in developing a finance framework for the distribution of clean cookstoves. The company distributes cookstoves manufactured Envirofit and Roshan Global Resources. We have also partnered with UNDP Small Grant Project and D-Prize to promote the use of clean cooking technologies in Makoko Waterfront of Lagos State.
What does your organization seek to achieve in the Nigeria’s cooking energy market?
Consistent Energy aims to distribute 1 million clean cooking technologies by year 2030 to both retail and commercial users of clean technologies. We also target to provide end-user finance for over 80% of the beneficiaries of our products. Our focus is on distribution of clean cookstoves and we work with wholesale manufacturers. We aim to make clean energy technologies affordable for end-users.
Can you tell us about your clean cooking activities including your achievements?
Consistent Energy has distributed well over 20,000 clean cooking technologies under various funding schemes and in partnership with development partners, microfinance banks and manufacturers. Since inception, we have managed several projects for UNDP and D-Prize to scale the use of clean cooking technologies all over Nigeria. We have also created massive awareness on the harmful effects of indoor air pollution and impact on climate change. We have created a niche in the industry around end-user finance.
What are your biggest challenges in implementing your clean cooking activities?
Our major challenges in implementing our clean cooking activities are: Lack of awareness of the benefits of clean cooking technologies; huge initial capital costs of acquiring clean cooking technology; lack of incentive for the sector e.g. VAT exemption, investible funds etc.
What are the opportunities identified in the country that can support the growth of your clean cooking activities?
Over 80% of rural dwellers still use fire wood to cook. This is the biggest opportunity for clean cooking technologies in Nigeria. Also, with the fast approaching desertification, it has become imperative to shift the method of cooking from firewood to cleaner technologies. In addition, Nigeria’s signing of the Paris Agreement and development of the Nationally Determined Commitment (NDC) has created a huge opportunity for the dissemination of clean energy technologies.
How are consumers reacting to your products/clean cooking activities – benefits of your clean cooking activities to the consumers?
Response has been positive with a lot of sign on recorded. Our projects in partnership with development partners have shown huge success. Improvement of health and time savings for households recorded amongst majority of end-users.
Job creation and the empowerment of women seem to be increasingly important. How do your clean cooking activities help drive employment generation and the empowerment of women?
The entire cookstove supply-chain is a source of economic opportunity and job creation at the local level in all cases-central mass production or local production-local business partners for distribution, sales and services of stoves as well as supply of processed fuels, where appropriate. We have empowered women entrepreneurs to become retailers of clean cooking technologies
If you are asked to advise the federal government of Nigeria on policy options, what are the three most important things the government can do to expand the clean cookstoves market?
The three most important policy options the government can do to expand the clean cookstoves market in Nigeria are: National awareness/sensitization campaign or monitoring and evaluation of stoves program; lowering/reduction in the cost of clean cookstoves; and incentives such as VAT exemptions and tax holidays to manufacturers of clean cooking technologies.
If an enabling environment is not created by government, what future risks do you envisage?
If an enabling environment is not created by the government, the clean cooking sector will face exchange rate risk – which is very critical to the sector. There will also be health challenges of the populace and climate change will worsen as the rate of deforestation increases sporadically.
What are your suggestions for moving the cooking energy market forward in Nigeria?
To move the clean cooking energy market forward in Nigeria, there must be adequate provision of funding to increase distribution and accessibility by women. There should also be proper training on the importance of clean and efficient cookstoves. An enabling environment must also be created for the growth of the sector.
Is there any other thing you would like to share?
We require supports from both private and international body to improve lives of our women through job creation and empowerment.