In this interview, the Managing Director, Abdulrasheed Umar Farouk shares their activities in the clean cookstoves sector.
Give us a brief introduction of your organisation. What are the objectives of your organisation?
Methano-Green Energy is a subsidiary of RASHBAB Engineering Service fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Methano-Green Energy specializes in general metal constructions, production of efficient household and institutional charcoal cookstoves, biogas production, and other renewable energy products. The company was formed in 2015 to take a front role in the manufacturing and provision of clean and renewable energy products with state-of-the-art designs and an added advantage of being multipurpose. The company believe that skills, diligence and precision are the three ingredients for corporate successes.
What does your organisation seek to achieve in Nigeria’s cooking energy market?
We seek to become the market leader in offering clean cookstoves that are economical, environment-friendly, efficient, multipurpose and life-saving. We want to be front-runners in the manufacturing, sales, and distribution of various designs of our clean cookstoves and consistently grow our customer base.
What are the opportunities in the business environment that have supported your organisation’s involvement in the clean cookstove sector over the years?
Over the years, people in our business environments have been seeking for better and cheaper mode of cooking. Realising that our cookstoves meet their needs, and have other benefits too, they are more than happy to patronize us. This has served as a huge opportunity for marketing our products.
How are your customers reacting to your products in the market – benefits of using your product?
We conducted a product-satisfaction survey of 50 customers that purchased our cookstoves. All the customers are happy and satisfied using our cookstoves due to its numerous benefits. Below are feedbacks from two (2) of them:
“This product is one of a kind; it really saves charcoal, and cooks faster. I am happy with the stove and will recommend it to family and friends’’- Mrs Dupe David, Suleja.
‘‘This cookstove does not bring out smoke like the traditional one I have been using. See the way my skin is now glowing and shiny. I like the cookstove and will recommend it to as many women as possible.’’- Mama Victoria, Abuja.
Job creation and the empowerment of women seem to be increasingly important. How has your organization helped to drive employment generation and the empowerment of women?
We have created a base of 15 marketers (7 women and 8 youths) at the moment. They collect our cookstoves at a highly discounted price. They sell, make profits, and then pay for the cookstoves collected. This is our contribution to women empowerment and job creation. As our market continues to grow, we intend to consequently grow this empowerment programme.
If you are asked to advise the Federal Government of Nigeria on policy options, what are the three most important things the government can do to expand the market?
Three most important things the government of Nigeria can do to expand the market for clean cookstoves are:
- Make policies that will favour locally made clean cookstoves over the foreign ones.
- Advocate and sensitise the masses on the socio-economic and health importance of clean cooking.
- Provide loans and grants to local manufacturers to scale up and expand their production.
If an enabling environment is not created by government, what future risks do you envisage?
If an enabling environment is not created by the government the clean cookstoves market will not develop. We will be extensively exposed to bankruptcy in the nearest future as cookstoves production will be very low.
Where do you envisage your organization to be in the next 5 years in terms of production?
In the next 5 years, we hope to have used our innovative clean energy products to impact the lives of up to 100 thousand households in Nigeria. We also hope to have created more designs to appeal to a wider customer base.
What risk does your business face and what is your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge is inadequate finance and security. We do not have enough finance to scale up production to meet the market demand. We also face the risk of insecurity as we visit interior villages for advocacy and awareness creation without adequate security.
What are your suggestions for moving the cooking energy market forward in Nigeria?
To move the cooking energy market forward in Nigeria we suggest that there should be frequent sensitization through symposiums (town hall meetings), and advertorials in media outlets (print and non-print). The government and policymakers should also come up with policies that will aid the market expansion of clean cookstove in Nigeria.
Is there any other thing you would like to share?
I would like to share the poem below to further promote our campaign of clean cooking solutions.
THE GENERATION OF THE METHANO
As far as memory can take me
Much of which depend on tales of old
My Africa, mother of Earth and Green
Whose beauty was Light and Whole
Graced in ebony, Elegant in style
From its forests in the West
Straight to its dry, but complementary land in the East,
She slayed in all categories, to the West.
Then over-time the consequence came,
For the evil of the care-free mutilation
One household at a time, one tree each took down;
The consequence of the dependence on wood for fuel,
The inconsideration of her tears across her nations.
Over-time, she was left naked and bare,
The green disappeared, her grounds raped;
Selfish children of hers, but their tummy, none else faired.
Trees for fuel, for this and that they break,
For pleasure too.
But we are the generation of the Methano,
The rebirthed of those who cared for Mother Africa;
As it boosts our capabilities to fight and say No!
To the misuse and unuse of features of our Africa,
Our pursuit be made known,
Our Inventions to quench the harassment of Africa.
Our products, to proffer a considerable alternate,
Cheaper, Safer, Healthier, Faster and more Pro-Africa,
If we the Youngs of Africa,
Who, between lips, confess undying affections for her,
Are true in thought, as in our words for Africa,
We must consider this alternative to save her.