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Nigeria: Access Bank partners Asolar to power up SMEs and rural communities

Access Bank Plc, in partnership with Asolar, has introduced a green energy solution aimed at addressing power supply issues encountered by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and rural communities throughout the country.

Speaking during the unveiling ceremony tagged: ‘Light up your community’, the Access Bank Deputy Managing Director, Victor Etuokwu, said the inconsistent power supply has become a major obstacle to businesses and livelihoods in the country.

The bank’s Director of Regional Services, Neka Adogu, Mr. Etuokwu emphasized that the initiative is geared towards advancing financial inclusion in rural areas.

He emphasized that the inconsistent power supply in Nigeria poses a significant challenge for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and initiatives aimed at fostering financial inclusion in rural areas, which is pivotal for economic growth. Presently, SME owners and residents in areas with limited power access incur substantial costs on generators, fuel procurement, and maintenance to operate their businesses.

Additionally, he added that in the realm of financial inclusion, the lack of power becomes a critical obstacle. Reliable electricity is a fundamental requirement for implementing modern financial services, such as digital banking and payment systems, particularly in underserved rural areas. “This disparity in power access widens the financial gap, impeding initiatives aimed at providing banking and financial services to those who are most in need.

“Through this partnership, we embark on a transformative journey to introduce cost-effective and dependable solar-powered solutions tailored specifically for small and medium businesses.

“By harnessing the potential of solar energy, we aim to untether these businesses from the shackles of unreliable power sources and offer promising alternatives to traditional generators reliant on expensive and polluting fossil fuels.

“By providing access to affordable solar-powered solutions, we endeavour to significantly reduce operational costs, enhance productivity and catalyse growth for these enterprises.

“Access Bank PLC’s collaboration with ASOLAR is not merely transforming power solutions; it is utilising our Access CLOSA Agent Network platform as the digital payment provider,” he said.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Asolar, Hakeem Shagaya, said the company was committed to ensuring every citizen has access to reliable and sustainable energy across the country.

Expressing gratitude to the bank’s management for the collaboration, Mr. Shagaya highlighted that the initiative aligns with the sustainable development goals related to clean and renewable energy.

“As we embark on this journey towards Access Green Energy, let us not overlook the profound impact on our environment. This initiative is not just about illuminating homes; it is about lighting the way for a greener and cleaner tomorrow. The Solar Home Systems represent a commitment to environmental stewardship, reducing carbon footprints, and actively contributing to the global fight against climate change. The positive environmental impact extends beyond emissions reduction, encompassing the preservation of ecosystems, the promotion of biodiversity and the creation of a more sustainable and resilient planet for future generations “he said.

The initiative is generally geared towards proffering a lasting solution to the problem of power ( light) faced by SMEs across Nigeria; especially those situated in rural areas.

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