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Mustapha Gajibo: Building Nigeria’s Tesla?

Our #OnePerson for the month is Mustapha Abubakar Gajibo, a 30-year-old Borno State indigene, born in Sokoto State.

He faced some challenges during his tertiary education when he was offered admission to the University of Maiduguri for an entirely different course (Mechanical Engineering), than one of his choosing (Electrical Engineering). 

So, in his third year of studying Mechanical Engineering, he dropped out to fully focus on his dream and passion for building electric vehicles.

He founded the company, Phoenix Renewables Limited, which operates in Maiduguri and specializes in building solar-powered electric vehicles, utilizing locally sourced materials and manpower. He has over 100 full-time employees and several part-time workers.

His interest was piqued around 2019 when he noticed the influx of tricycles into the country from China and India; and in a bid to create more job opportunities, preserve the Nigerian foreign exchange and solve a fundamental environmental problem, he resorted to converting petrol-powered tricycles into sola-powered vehicles.

To further show his ingenuity, he decided to use locally sourced materials and manpower.

Some of his major inventions are Electric generators and Electric engine vehicles (converted from petrol-powered minibuses & tricycles) capable of running at 200 km/h without needing to be refueled.

He also has some other notable inventions such as the development and installation of solar-powered lighting systems in some schools and health facilities in Maiduguri, and an 80 kW power system in e-libraries at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).


It is quite admirable that Mustapha Gajibo and by proxy, Phoenix Renewables Limited have not gone unnoticed, as he has some recognitions under his belt – and would still get more, hopefully.

In 2022, he was named the Environmental Impact Person of the Year by Leadership Newspaper and was presented the award in early 2023. Black History and Lifestyle, a non-profit organization aimed at celebrating the successes of black people, also awarded the company in the category of Science and Technology.

At the 5th edition of the National MSME Award in 2022, he received an Award of Excellence in Innovation and Technology-driven Enterprise.

In early January this year, Nature News also recognized the outstanding entrepreneur and honored him with the Climate Innovation Award.

Mustapha Gajibo aspires to have his vehicles driven in New York, London, Munich, and other big cities across the world; as he aspires to go toe-to-toe with big names in the electric vehicle manufacturing space such as Tesla.

We celebrate you Mustapha Gajibo!


To join the ‘ONE PERSON’ campaign:

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Submit the link to the upload in the form below, whether it’s your own or a nomination for someone else who is making a positive impact.