Children studying under suboptimal lighting provided by a kerosene lamp due to the lack of electricity. Image source: The Ritz Herald

There are over 90 million Nigerians with no access to the electricity grid. Could overregulation and irregular pricing be driving this challenge?

There are over 90 million Nigerians with no access to the electricity grid. 65 per cent of them live in rural communities. These Nigerians are considered to live in energy poverty. Energy poverty is a situation where people lack access to modern energy services like electricity, cooking gas, etc. Energy poverty is a global phenomenon that affects about 800 million people, with the majority resident in sub-Saharan Africa. …

Figure 1: San Antonio, photo by Jesus Soliz on Spectrum Local News

I consider ERCOT to be the greatest electricity markets in the world, but in February 2021 it was brought to its knees. I had questions and needed to get to the bottom of this. This was my attempt at answering those questions.

We were awake at 2am when the power went off on Monday the 15th of February 2021. It was the President’s day holiday. Our apartment was still warm, so it was not bad. By 6am the apartment was freezing, so I put on my winter jacket and then went back to bed. By 7:30am the sun had begun to rear its head. Then I saw it, a white blanket of snow covered the cars, roads and streets. In the morning many Texans, my household included not having much to do since the power was out, came out to play in…

Mitchell Harvey and Tam Alex

Photo by Wiktor Karkocha on Unsplash

In Economic Facts and Fallacies, Thomas Sowell argues that housing regulation and zoning laws, not markets, are to blame for the modern scourge of unaffordable housing. Sowell is still right. Government housing regulations have exacerbated construction costs, reduced the elasticity of the housing supply and worsened the vicious problem of homelessness.

A 2014 NBER review of the current housing regulation literature confirmed what economists already new: “regulation appears to raise house prices, reduce construction, reduce the elasticity of the housing supply, and alter urban form.” Complying with regulation is not only time-consuming but often requires…

Nigerians protesting social media bill. Image source: Guardian NG

By Mercy Dominic

In the wake of the insecurity and general unrest following the #EndSARS protest last year, Nigerians received a reminder that their right to freedom of speech has been under threat for quite some time now. This reminder came in the form of a speech given by actor turned lawmaker, Desmond Elliot at the Lagos State House of Assembly where it was alleged that he called for social media regulation.

While he indeed said nothing about Social Media “regulation” in the videos that surfaced online, the ensuing clamour served to point Nigerians back to November 5th, 2019. On…

I recently listened to the #Nigerian politics Weekly podcast on the problems with the Nigerian electricity sector, among other things. One of the guests said that we should not fall for the trap of thinking that the market can solve #Nigeria’s power problems. Another went on to say that said the problem with the industry is the lack of cost effective tariffs. To rebut, the first guest said, “even in the US, electricity prices are fixed, and though the generation companies (GENCOs) and distribution companies (DISCOs) in Nigeria have been privatized is the problem any better?”

I would like to…

Image source: BBC

By Adedamola Ogunbewon

I recently completed a free Udemy course by Chale institute titled “African Ideas of Liberty”, this course is laced with important lessons about indigenous Africa; how they thought about liberty, short stories, proverbs, poems etc. that represent their intent to develop peaceful societies with liberty as its core.

Firstly, it should be noted that ideas of liberty and Africa may seem like an oxymoron, considering that most countries in modern Africa are governed by ideas that are closer to authoritarian, command and control system than they are to liberty.

According to the 2019 Human Freedom Index report

We start with Lagos

I recently saw this tweet that has come to embody economic policy in Lagos and the whole of Nigeria today. The government taxes anything that moves!

Recently the Lagos State government imposed some new regulations upon e-hailing taxi services like Uber and Bolt. In the document released by the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation titled “Guidelines for Online Hailing Business Operation of Taxi in Lagos State 2020,” e-hailing services are to pay 10% on revenue generated for every trip to the Lagos state government.

The new guidelines also require operators to “pay a provisional license fee of N10,000,000.00 for…

A Nigerian Hospital. Image source: Business Day.

They are the cause of its terrible state and not the solution. Dr. Nwaizu Tochukwu explains in this timely piece.

From poor health infrastructure, expensive and inaccessible health care services to inadequate health workers, and poor patient care it is clear that Nigeria’s health care sector is in a hellish state.

According to WHO, Nigeria ranks 187 out of 195 countries in world health care delivery. Maternal mortality rate is 917 deaths/100,000 live births; ranking the nation 4th highest in the world. Infant mortality rate is 69.7 deaths/1000 live births ranking 8th out of 225 nations in the world. There’s also a short supply of physicians; WHO standard is 1:600 i.e. 1 doctor for 600 patients. In Nigeria, it is…

Senator Dino with DINO 03.

“What did the Igbo man ask the lamb in distress? Lamborghini.” Says a tweet from the account of former Nigerian senator, Dino Melaye, showing a picture of him sitting on the bonnet of a Lamborghini. “Don’t leave me,” another Twitter user replied to his tweet. This was Dino’s contribution to the now global social media #dontleaveme challenge, started by Nigerian comedian Josh2Funny.

Dino on Twitter

This is the kind of politician Dino is. He participates in social media challenges, performs quasi-original songs on stage, and has a whole hit club banger named after him, whose music video he appears in…

A worker at a mini grid construction site

Opportunities for solar homes systems (SHS) companies and mini grid developers in developing countries in these trying times.

Some weeks ago, Abiye Geoffrey called and said, “dem don allow us move,” which means “we have been allowed to go” in West African Pidgin (WAP). A trailer or what Americans would call a “semi,” carrying a bulldozer we rented to the construction site of one of our renewable energy based mini grids (or microgrids, as they are called in the United States) and all the personnel onboard had been detained by the police for flouting stay-at-home mandates by the government. Abiye was calling me to let me know that they had been allowed to continue to the site after…

Tam Alex

Electricity, Entrepreneurship and Economics.

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