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Energy Poverty in Urban Africa: A Case study of the energy needs of urban poor in Lagos and Ibadan, Nigeria


The purpose of this research is to assess the energy needs of urban poor households in Nigeria. The research was based in two Nigerian cities, Lagos and Ibadan. Portions of the following research draw from sub- Saharan Africa but the field research is unique to the two Nigerian cities. More specifically, this research aims to evaluate the socio-economic, environmental and policy issues associated with energy service needs for urban poor households. In addition to Semi-Structured interviews with Managers in the energy sector, a survey of 80 urban poor households was carried out in Lagos and Ibadan. Results show that energy services are vital to human survival but financial constraints limit accessibility and use which cause urban poor to move down the energy ladder; thereby using a mix of energy sources. The energy services needed by most urban poor are lighting and cooking. A majority of the urban poor respondents think their electricity bills are unfair, yet they are willing to pay more to increase their standard of living. Results also suggest that sufficient policies exist to enable the provision of clean, accessible and affordable energy to the urban poor but inadequate policy implementation serves as a barrier to policy goals. The author recommends adequate policy implementation and political will for the achievement of policy aims; by so doing, project development, technological and financing options enlisted in the policies can be adequately undertaken for the betterment of human lives in Nigeria.