By Concise News Correspondents
Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BoI) has launched a N1 billion solar energy fund for use by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.
The intervention fund, it was learned, aims at providing alternative and renewable energy for small businesses.
Acting Managing Director of BoI, Waheed Olagunju, said on Friday at the ceremony that renewable energy would provide healthy and sustainable alternative to the use of harmful fossil fuels.
He further disclosed that the solar project would afford beneficiaries long-term cost saving advantages, especially in the absence of reliable power supply.
The acting MD said the cost of electricity accounted for about 40 per cent of operational expenses for most MSMEs. According to him, this has reduced profit margins.
“It was estimated that in 2015, manufacturers spent as much as N3.5 trillion to generate alternative power due to the challenges in the supply of public electricity.
“MSMEs play a major role as the engine through which most countries in the world thrive.
“Their growth and development are crucial to the level of industrialization, modernization, income per capita, equitable distribution of income, welfare and quality of life enjoyed by the citizenry.
“Consequently, the performance of the MSME sub-sector is closely associated with the development of a nation.
“In Nigeria, the growth of this sector has been hampered over the years by a combination of factors, one of which is access to reliable electricity.
“For Nigeria to, therefore, achieve sustainable and inclusive development, there is an urgent need to substantially increase the supply of modern and affordable energy services from sources that are affordable, accessible and environmentally friendly,’’ he said.