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How is COVID-19 Pandemic Affecting Electricity Access in Africa? Evidence from Nigeria

Abdulrasheed Isah
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a twin health and economic shocks globally. It has also highlighted the critical role of electricity to livelihoods as more people work from home while practicing social distancing. Yet, in developing countries like Nigeria millions of people lack access to electricity, with adverse implications for decent livelihoods and sustainable development in the post-pandemic period. This article examines the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian offgrid renewable energy sector, with particular emphasis on broader implications for achieving the objectives of providing affordable, reliable and clean energy for all (SDG7). It is shown that COVID-19 pandemic has led to supply chain disruptions, declining demand, and falling investments in the Nigerian off-grid renewable energy sector, with adverse implications for energy access goal. Policy recommendations are provided to help bolster the sector to contribute not only to alleviating energy poverty but also to create green jobs and facilitate sustainable recovery in the future.