Unreliable electricity killing Nigeria’s tech industry – Survey

A survey conducted by the Centre for Global Development has raises serious concerns about the fundamentals of the Nigeria’s tech industry as 57 per cent of tech entrepreneurs said reliable power access is a major obstacle to their business.

The survey covered 93 tech firms, which encompasses the majority of Nigeria’s tech industry.

Firms were asked about a range of potential business obstacles, including access to credit and electricity, corruption, taxation, the legal system, and more. Political instability, access to finance, and reliable power were the most severe constraints, according to respondents.

According to the survey, a typical power outage was 2-3 hours for most firms, although for a significant group (about 15 per cent), the lights usually stay off for 5 or more hours at a time.

A third of firms surveyed report losing more than 20 per cent of their sales due to power outages.

“Everyone is talking about 5G access or startup accelerators, but we found Nigeria’s tech industry is struggling with much more basic problems, like unreliable electricity. The firms we talked to are dealing with dozens of power outages per month. That’s hard for any business, and especially for a technology company,” said Vijaya Ramachandran, one of the authors of the report and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.

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