United Kingdom-based Azuri Technologies Ltd and First Bank of Nigeria Ltd (FirstBank) announced on 7 February a partnership to expand access to electricity in Nigeria. The agreement will see Azuri’s solar home system packages co-branded and co-marketed by FirstBank. Customers will be able to use FirstBank’s Firstmonie agent network and mobile payment platform to pay for their solar systems.
Azuri’s West Africa headquarters is located in Lagos and the company has been active in the country since 2017, selling more than 20,000 solar home lighting systems through a partnership with the Nigerian government. As a result, it already works with local distributors and a network of agents in the country. The company told African Energy that it aims to reach more than 1m Nigerians over the next five years. It has sold around 150,000 systems to-date.
There are more than 16,000 Firstmonie agents in Nigeria, with many located in rural and peri-urban areas across Nigeria, who provide access to basic financial services. These agents will help market Azuri’s products and put prospective customers in touch with Azuri agents or their local distributors.
“This partnership enables rural customers to access financial services, irrespective of the power challenges experienced at any point in time”, Azuri told African Energy.
Azuri recently launched the next rung on its energy ladder, a 32-inch television, in Kenya. The package will be available in all the markets where Azuri operates during 2019. Such products play an important role in building revenues at off-grid companies, allowing customers with a relationship with the company to upgrade to larger systems over time as they pay off previous systems, often passing these on to family members.
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