Nigerians have become accustomed to long lines for gasoline and wild fluctuations in bus fares. Though the country is Africa’s largest producer of oil, its residents don’t benefit from a steady supply.
Mustapha Gajibo, 30, is doing what he can to alleviate the problem: his startup, Phoenix Renewables Limited, is launching a homegrown electric-vehicle industry in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.
Gajibo dropped out of university in his third year to run it. His first project was converting the internal-combustion engines of commonly used vehicles in the city to electric versions. He focused on two types of vehicles that residents often pay to ride: seven-seat minibuses and the motorized tricycles known as kekes.