Rural Builders Organisation is the Partner of the Month of June. The CEO, Mr Andrew Oshogwe; shares their activities in this interesting interview.
Give us a brief introduction about your organisation. What motivated you to start your organisation?
Rural Builders Organisation is a National Non-Governmental Organisation working to build the capacity of rural residents for improved economic, social and health livelihood across communities in Nigeria. We are motivated to focus on rural communities in view of the wide gap in accessing range of services that can improve their lives.
What does your company seek to achieve in Nigeria’s cooking energy market?
The organisation accepts that the clean cooking intervention ostensibly targets the rural woman whose three-stone cooking method constitute an inherent health hazard.
What are the opportunities in the business environment that have supported your business over the years?
With about 30millions rural household women in Nigeria yearning for this intervention, the environment provides huge support for the clean cooking business opportunity.
What products does your organisation promote and how are your customers reacting to your products in the market – benefits of using your product?
Accordingly, the organisation have promoted and distributed hundreds of fire wood clean cookstoves across communities in the past four years. This is gladly accepted as a better option in view of the availability of easily sourced firewood in the environment.
Job creation and the empowerment of women seem to be increasingly important. How has your organisation helped to drive employment generation and the empowerment of women?
Originally, over 90 percent of beneficiaries of our enterprise capacity building and microfinance services are group women in the rural area. Champions are selected among them to promote and distribute these products. This also creates a new empowerment and income opportunity for them.
If you were 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 market?
In view of the socio-economic and health benefits of clean cooking to the rural poor and the population it covers, the Federal Government of Nigeria could provide policy options that will;
1. Promote local production to reduce its cost and increase employment
2. Stimulate its awareness and acceptance thereby reducing environmental degradation.
3. Support investment by relevant institutions and organisations in the project.
If an enabling environment is not created by government, what future risks do you envisage?
Accepted that clean cooking has come to stay in Nigeria, the proposed government intervention are more of cost reduction. The absence will mean long time effect of high cost until local production saturate.
Where do you envisage your organisation to be in the next 5 years – projection?
Our organisation has benefited from ICEED and GACC sponsored training programmes on stove production and testing respectively. This has prepared her to move from just distribution to production and distribution. Already in collaboration with fibre and clay Scientist and warehouse in place, the organisation only seeks funding support begin production. This will enable us to reach out to about 6million household in the next 5 years.
What risk does your business face and what is your biggest challenge?
Clean cookstoves production and distribution is a reasonable additional project that enhances our organisational programme performance across rural communities. In our strategic position as National rural NGO, it is a great prospect. With support funding, the organisation hope to enhance achievable target of clean cooking in Nigeria.
What are your suggestions for moving the cooking energy market forward in Nigeria?
The future of clean cooking is great in Nigeria with right funding support for local production.
Is there any other thing you would like to share?
Yes. As you are aware, Nigeria market is always ready for an innovative product as this in view of its population. What remains is the right investment actions to fly.