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Power: SMEs operators urge FG to invest more in alternative energy


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Abuja- Some small business entrepreneurs in Abuja on Thursday called on the Federal Government to invest more in alternative sources of electricity in order to address the challenge in the power sector.
The businessmen who are members of Wuse Market Shop Operators and Traders Cooperative Society made the call when they visited the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ABUCCI).
Speaking on their behalf, President of the society, Mr Chinedu Agabaenwere, said that it would be good if government could invest more on alternative sources of power.
“We know that sabotage is one of the constraints we are having presently with the efforts government is making in the area of power.
“If government pays more attention to the alternative source of power, we believe it will address the challenge of power generation to a great extent,” he said.
According to Agabaenwere, power is the backbone of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operations in the country.
He disclosed that inadequate power supply was adversely affecting the growth of SMEs in the country.
He stressed that alternative sources of energy, including coal, solar and wind energy, would enhance the nation’s industrial growth.
Agabaenwere, however, commended the Federal Government for providing solar power system for the hairdressing section at Wuse Market.
He called on the government to ensure that its intervention fund on SMEs got to the right people, saying that sometimes, financial assistance from the government did not get to targeted beneficiaries.
According to him, the recent Central Bank of Nigeria’s N220 billion SMEs fund has not reached the right people.

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He said that traders at the markets were the right people that the fund was meant for, but lamented that none of them had received any support from it.
He said the group had tried its best to access the fund but was unable to do so because the conditions outlined by CBN to access the fund were difficult.
Respondin, President of ABUCCI, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye, assured the members of the cooperative that the chamber would collaborate with them in areas of advocacy and legislation.
Ejinkeonye explained that if the cooperative could articulate their challenges well, ABUCCI was ready to pass them to the relevant authority.
On the N220 billion SMEs fund, he said that the chamber had met with relevant agencies to ensure that members had access to the loan.
According to him, over 25 per cent of ABUCCI members are in SMEs and the chamber will ensure that challenges facing the sector are removed. (NAN)