Amid the lockdown, with vehicular movement, including public transport, virtually grounded, attendants at several fuel stations in Lagos, confirm to Quartz Africa that a majority of purchases are coming from individuals buying in jerrycans to fuel generators.

But the increased usage of generators during the lockdown is also a cyclical effect of attempts to keep the economy afloat as, in a major shift in Nigerian work culture, businesses are asking employees to work from home. Aware of the country’s electricity situation, some companies are providing stipends to cover extra generator costs.

Tope Adepoju, a graphics designer who lives on the outskirts of Lagos says his generator has stayed running to power his work devices for much of this week at a higher than usual cost. “I would be spending more if they allowed us put generators on overnight in my neighborhood,” he says.

The bad news for Nigeria is that air and noise pollution from generators will last much longer than the lockdown will. A2EI forecasts steady increase in demand for generators over the next decade amid Nigeria’s population spurt and slow progress in finding alternatives.

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