Participants at a workshop on viability and affordability of clean energy solutions for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) today in Abuja advocated the adoption of renewable energy to boost the sub-sectors productivity.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop, the Chief Executive Officer of Climate Transformation and Energy Remediation Society, (CLIMATTERS), Mr Smart Amaefula, said that adopting renewable energy solutions in Nigeria will be a win-win solution for the MSMEs and Nigeria’s enviro-economic sustainability.
He noted that businesses in Nigeria were not maximising their potential in terms of productivity and income generation because of lack of sustainable power supply.
The climate management expert said: “The worst hit of these situations are the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). According to SMEDAN and the National Bureau of Statistics, there are over 37million (Micro-36,994,578, Small- 68,168, and Medium-4,670) enterprises in Nigeria and they account for more than 84% of jobs in the country.
“It is also estimated that MSMEs also account for about 48.5% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and about 7.27% of goods and services exported out of the country.
“Regrettably, almost all these MSMEs power their businesses with generators in the face of erratic national power supply (NEPA). Not only do these SMEs lose income generation, they are highly and constantly exposed to various health dangers associated with inhaling the fumes from the generators, “Amaefula lamented.
This is even as he noted that MSMEs neither had reliable access to alternative energy nor know about alternative energy, pointing out that those who know complain of high cost of divesting to cleaner energy, therefore, are compelled beyond grave circumstances to operate their businesses using the traditional energy source that is dirty and poisonous.
Amaefula clarified further: “If renewable energy is succeeding in other smaller African countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, why would it not also succeed the country we claim to be “The Giant of Africa”.
“We don’t really mind if competition will drive Nigeria and these other smaller African countries to invest in renewables.
“It would be a shame if the Giant of Africa continues to suffer in energy poverty for her socio-economic activities while those other smaller African countries will rather become ‘the mouse that roared,” he stressed.
In his speech at the forum, the Director, Renewable Energy at the Nigeria Energy Commission, Prof. Joseph Dioha, said that adoption and investment in renewable energy would solve the problem of power supply.
He commended participants at the workshop and urged them to embrace and take advantage of the opportunities in the sector to boost their businesses.
One of the beneficiaries of solar power initiative and the chairman, Lagos State Barbers Association, Mr Efe Obiuwevbi, while sharing his experiences, said that venturing into the use of solar power had solved the problem of power outages in his business.
According to him, the change to clean energy has reduced his expenditures on fuel, servicing of generator and increased his income.
Obiuwevbi testified: “Since I started using this solar power, my income has increased, now I have peace of mind and constant customers.
“Before now I make N25,000 in a month and after removing the expenses on fuel and maintenance, I may be left with N13,000 but now with the adoption of solar power, I make over N45,000 month”, he added.