Nigeria: Appraising Air-Conditioning Market in Nigeria

Raheem Akingbolu writes on the competition in Nigeria’s cooling and air-conditioning market and how the peculiarity of the country’s weather appears to be putting the players on their toes.

Reports indicate that some air conditioners are not suitable for the Nigerian environment and hence could constitute health hazards or even cause accidents. For this reason, it is important for electronic companies and manufacturers to consider the type of gas they install in their air conditioners.

For instance, some air conditioners that have R22 gases may pose danger to the environment. Beyond emitting dangerous gas to the environment, they are also susceptible to explosions when exposed to certain conditions.

Most recently, the production of R22 for use in air conditioning and refrigeration systems was said to have been prohibited in Canada effective January 1, 2020. Previous scientific studies confirm that while R22 was inexpensive to produce and favoured by most heating, ventilator, and air conditioning, HVAC, installers, it is identified as one of many substances contributing to the depletion of the Earth’s ozone. On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, REFCOM had reported various concerns over several air conditioning related explosions even in Nigeria. This calls for more care in the production and use of air conditioners in Nigeria and across the world.

Consequently, some experts argue that while it is vital for air conditioners and indeed all other home appliances to possess energy-saving technology, a cross-section of the world population is equally concerned about their impact on the global environment. This has led to debates on global warming and ozone depletion – demanding for social responses and legislative measures which must have far-reaching environmental impacts and other implications for air-conditioning and associated industries. In most climes, a lot of efforts are being made for air-conditioning and refrigeration technologies to be part of the solutions for mitigating global warming, and reduction of harmful gas emissions. It should also be noted that globally, environmental protection is increasingly being inculcated into the goal of most responsible manufacturers.

This underscores the importance of the recent launch by Royal Electronics, a foremost electronics and home appliances manufacturing company based in Dubai that unveiled the Royal Signature Split-Unit air conditioner in the Nigerian market. The introduction of this product, which is solely distributed in the Nigerian market by SIMS Nigeria Limited is to upgrade the air-cooling technology to march and surpass the existing standard. The technology used for the manufacture of the Royal Signature split unit air conditioner is innovative and disruptive aimed at offering the market something fresh, delightful and beneficial.

The launch, described by industry watchers as ‘moving the frontiers of cooling technology,’ was witnessed by stakeholders and dignitaries including Chief David Ifezulike, Chairman, Nestle Nigeria, and his wife Ngozi Ifezulike; Royal Signature brand Ambassador, Nollywood star, Chioma Chukwuka and Chief Simeon Eyisi, Chairman SIMS Nigeria Limited. Others present at the event were Barr. Bernadette Eyisi, Executive Director Human Capital Development; Mr. Fab Uzor, Executive Director, Corporate Services; Ike Eyisi, Executive Director, Operations; Arthur Ozoigbo, Executive Director, Sales & Marketing; Prakash Prasad, National Service Manager; and Media executives.

Speaking at the ceremonial unveiling session, Chief David Ifezulike, who chaired the event, commended the SIMS management for introducing unique innovations from the Royal Electronic brand shelf. Royal Signature AC brand is one in a series of innovative and groundbreaking technology based brands in the world. According to him, this is a follow up to the winning brands streak that include Royal TV range, Gas Cookers, Refrigeration solutions, Kitchen appliances, power solutions, and others. Chief Ifezulike emphasized the unique selling propositions of Royal Signature, which include the benefits of low energy consumption, reduced cost of maintenance, and normal usage even when the voltage fluctuates. He emphasized that these features have become great vehicles to demonstrate brand innovation, differentiation, and consumer insight. Commenting further, he predicted that corporate Nigeria would patronise the product massively as the quality is top-notch, with a clear capacity to deliver consumer satisfaction comprehensively.

The Chairman, SIMs Nigeria Limited, Chief Simeon Eyisi, spoke about the new product. “I don’t have any iota of doubt about The Royal Signature. I believe the product will be a market leader within a short time – because its features are unique and incomparable,” he stressed with confidence. It is clear that his organisation has remained technologically-inclined, and have left no stone unturned in promoting and distributing mind-blowing home appliances like Royal Signature Air Conditioner. With the current level of advancement in technology awareness and information, consumers are beginning to demand more from household devices to elevate their current standard of living

The Royal Signature AC, loaded with brand benefits and features, is poised to capture the attention of technology-savvy and cost-conscious Nigerian consumers. Apart from the persistent poor power supply and electrical outages that have become a source of concern for all stakeholders and consumers, the issue of consistent rise in the cost of power has all combined to effectively limit the full utilization of air-conditioners in Nigeria. The Royal Signature AC comes with full options with so many unique benefits. As an inverter AC, it offers high energy-saving capability and its mirror-finish with Wi-Fi facilities are the very first of their kind in Nigeria. It comes in 1HP, 1.5HP and 2.0HP capacities and it is also fitted with R32 gas, which is presently the safest and the most environment-friendly AC gas in the world.

Commenting on the organization’s passion for environmental compliance Prakash Prasad, National Service Manager, said: “In developing our products we always pay serious attention to the Nigerian climate, so we knew we should design a product that will not affect the ozone layer. That is why our researchers ensured we use a gas that does not harm the ozone layer in any way. We use gas that enhances energy efficiency in terms of operation; and saves energy so that there is less burden on the consumer in terms of electric bill payment.” He further explained that Nigerian consumers need appliances like Royal Signature AC that would not only withstand the low power voltage, but will save them some money through lower energy utilization. “Our organization has shown that environmental protection is top on their minds and that all their products including the new AC brand are designed with the protection and safety of the Nigerian environment as peak priority”.

Executive Director, Corporate Services, Fab Uzor, throws more light on the issue of environmental protection. According to him, “Royal Signature AC has eco-friendly low-density gas. The brand also has the latest air filtration technology, where it filters the internal air in the house and brings in fresh air into homes that makes it healthy for the occupant of the environment, which other brands don’t have. Again, one of the value additions is that this is the first air conditioner in Nigeria to have what we call the R32 gas. Most times, you hear that due to power surge the air conditioner blew up. This cannot happen with R32 because it is a non-explosive gas. That is the difference when we talk about health and environmental friendliness. Others will tell you their gas is eco-friendly, but they don’t have R32, which is the highest standard. I know there is R410, which is what others call eco-friendly gas, but there is also the R32 which is used mainly by those in the oil energy sector where safety is paramount. We have decided to extend the usage of this uniquely healthy gas to anyone who will use Royal Signature AC in their homes; so even when there is power surge, the air conditioner compressor will trip off because this is a non-explosive gas. That is the difference between R410, R32 and R22 gases”.

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Still on his organization’s passion for environmental compliance, Mr. Uzor took time to give details of the sustainability policy that governs his organization’s activities. This, he explains, reveals why SIMS Nigeria limited is effectively at the forefront in the drive to build a more environmentally friendly business setting. He promised that consumers will continue to witness a plethora of innovative and forward-thinking products from the stables of Royal Electronics and distributed in Nigeria by SIMS Nigeria Ltd – as they consistently churn out products with top-notch technology and multiple capabilities that will keep their brands permanently in the minds of consumers.

The capacity of Royal Signature Air conditioners to function effectively even with low voltage has taken the ‘Battle against Heat to a New Level.’ Most Nigerians know that heat can become quite unbearable, especially during the dry season. This explains why many commentators genuinely believe that putting air conditioners in homes in this part of the world cannot be considered a luxury. Regrettably, most citizens’ capacity to use this home appliance is really limited, no thanks to the epileptic electric power supply. Only a few who can afford high-capacity generators are the ones enjoying the comfort of air-conditioners in their home. However, the capacity of Royal Signature to function at low voltage is great news to many consumers as this is likely going to “democratise” the use of air conditioners across the hinterlands in Nigeria in the long term. Mr. Uzor explained that the magic in the Royal Signature is its capacity to remain stable despite fluctuation and its huge voltage range, which is between 130 and 285.

During the launch of Royal Signature AC, some experts involved in the research and production of the new AC brand shared other special features that make the new air conditioner a game-changer. In the words of Ike Eyisi, Executive Director, Operations “this product has the feature of a wi-fi control system. The Wi-fi feature of the Signature is not limited in function, it has full options, with unlimited functions,” he stated.