Emma Okonji

In what has turned out to be the world’s first, Nigeria is pioneering a new solar electricity service that is capable of providing full electricity supply across Nigeria, through the support of the mobile phone.

The service, which comes with 24/7 full electricity supply for Nigerians, is already transforming lives in the country.
The Y’ello Box is a solar electricity system that was officially launched earlier this year and allows families and business owners to harness the power of the sun cheaply and efficiently, in a way they have never seen before.

In homes, clinics, schools and businesses across Nigeria, people are running fans, charging phones, watching television and lighting rooms, all using affordable, reliable, clean electricity. The Y’ello Box is already powering the lives and businesses of more than one hundred thousand Nigerians, according to Lumos Mobile Electricity the driver of the initiative.

Designed and operated by Lumos Mobile Electricity Service, the Y’ello Box provides electricity to customers 24 hours a day, and seven days in a week, which people pay for using their MTN mobile phone.

According to Lumos, It has proved itself to be the most reliable and affordable service on the market, with customers delighted at the switch from traditional fuel.
CEO of the Lumos Mobile Electricity Service, Yuri Tsitrinbaum, said: “People don’t have access to the power they need. Fuel is very expensive and other services are unreliable. The Y’ello Box saves customers money all while providing better and more reliable electricity. As Nigeria modernises, demand for power increases. It’s time we did more to harness the power of the sun. That is why the Y’ello Box is changing so many lives. It is affordable, it is reliable and paying by mobile phone makes it easy.”

According to him, “Lumos is growing rapidly across Nigeria, as we invest more money, create business opportunities for Nigerians and employ more and more people. Equally important is the fact that the service is improving the everyday operations of community centres like schools, health clinics and religious institutions.”

Working in partnership with MTN and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the US Government, Lumos said it has committed over $80 million for the deployment its solar-based electricity in Nigeria, half of which has already been invested. In Nigeria Lumos employs more than 450 people, including technicians, engineers and a large sales force. There are ambitious plans to grow and provide power to one million Nigerians by the end of 2017, Tsitrinbaum said.