Geographies in Depth

How much are Nigerians spending on backup power?

Omar Mohammed
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Geographies in Depth?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Africa is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:


Electricity, electricity, electricity. This is the number one issue Nigerians want the new government of Muhammadu Buhari to improve above all else.

When you look at the cost of electricity in Africa’s largest economy, it immediately becomes clear why.

On average Nigerians spend about NGN3,374 ($17) on their monthly electricity bills, according to data from NOIPolls. However, the erratic distribution of power has always compelled folks to seek alternative sources—primarily back-up generators, which bumps up the costs households and businesses spend on electricity quite significantly. On average the monthly cost for the fuel to run these generators adds an additional NGN9,529 ($48) to a household’s bill. That is three times the cost of direct supply.

 atlas_41jfUq65@2x (1)

The issue of reliable power has dogged Nigeria for a while, contributing to its reputation as being one of the more difficult places to do business in Africa. Africa’s largest economy comes in at 36 on the ease of doing business rankings, according to the World Bank. Nigeria trails the likes of Burundi, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea, countries not exactly known for being the continent’s economic powerhouses.

This article is published in collaboration with Quartz. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

To keep up with the Agenda subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Author: Omar Mohammed is a reporter for Quartz covering East Africa based in Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

Image: Cooking in the dark. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Geographies in DepthEnergy Transition
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

The Horn of Africa's deep groundwater could be a game-changer for drought resilience

Bradley Hiller, Jude Cobbing and Andrew Harper

May 16, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum