The Nigerian market, which is also one of the largest solar markets in Africa, has a slightly smaller market structure and relatively few regulations. The use and laying of solar equipment in Nigeria has not reached the level of Kenya, and the qualification certification and training framework for the value chain is still being fine-tuned. Nigeria and several development agencies, especially Gesellschaftfür InternationaleZusammenarbeit, are developing most solar market support frameworks, certifications and skills acquisition methods that will help improve the import market.
Unfavorable market conditions will lead to non-compliant solar products (inverters, batteries and solar photovoltaics, etc.). The differences in regulation and policy limit the development of private companies in solar energy and the wider market. To cope with this, the private and public sector established the Nigerian Renewable Energy Association (REAN) in 2016 to promote and multilateral cooperation in the solar energy sector in Nigeria. Solar products imported into Nigeria are not eligible for zero import tariffs. Although the restrictions on imports may not be obvious, it raises market prices and hinders the use of solar energy by consumers, especially low-income people.
The Nigerian Standards Organization (SON) is responsible for the import of products. Some solar industry practitioners believe that standard organizations do not have sufficient capacity to regulate import standards for emerging solar equipment markets. In terms of manufacturing standards, foreign manufacturers can be certified with agents of the Nigerian Standards Organization before import.
As regulators and private companies work together to optimize solar power generation capacity and provide more electricity to countries such as Nigeria and Kenya, this is expected to further optimize the market, especially for imported and low-risk products, which seems to be lacking in key technologies. It is the best choice for areas with manufacturing capabilities.
The China-Africa Trade Research Center analyzed that due to insufficient power supply and inadequate policies, the development of African manufacturing industry is difficult. Countries represented by Nigeria and Kenya optimize the market by optimizing import and export processes and reducing tariffs in solar power generation. The standardization of the market has further provided an enabling environment for imported products.