Access Bank Plc, in collaboration with ASolar Systems Nigeria, has introduced environmentally friendly energy solutions to assist small-scale businesses grappling with power supply challenges nationwide.
The collaborative effort unveiled a range of products, including solar-powered TV sets, air conditioners, and PoS machines, among others, during an event titled “Light Up Your Community” held at the Garki branch of Access Bank in Abuja on Tuesday.
During the launch, Victor Etuokwu, Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank, highlighted the difficulties faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in terms of power supply. Represented by Neka Aduogu, the Director of Regional Services, Etuokwu emphasized how inconsistent power supply hampers financial inclusion in rural areas, a crucial factor for economic growth in Nigeria.
He stated, “This inconsistent power supply poses a substantial challenge for SMEs and initiatives aimed at promoting financial inclusion in rural areas, which is considered a yardstick for economic growth in Nigeria. Currently, SME owners in Nigeria incur significant expenses on procuring generators, buying fuel, and maintaining generators to operate their businesses successfully.”
Etuokwu stressed that dependable electricity is essential for implementing modern financial services like digital banking and payment systems, particularly in underserved rural areas. He added, “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.”
Hakeem Shagaya, Chief Executive Officer of Asolar Systems, revealed that the products are priced between N150,000 and N300,000 per unit, with the option to spread payments over a 6-month period. Shagaya noted that the company had already sold about 80,000 units and aimed to expand distribution through Access Bank agents nationwide.
“We have over 80,000 customers in our database, with around 30,000 having completed payment for the systems. Currently, we have a stock of over 55,000 units, and with the partnership with Access, we anticipate an increase in volume, allowing us to expand our financing options,” Shagaya explained during a press briefing at the event.
Chizoba Iheme, Group Head of Financial Inclusion at Access Bank Plc, disclosed that the bank has over 300,000 Access agents across the country to facilitate the distribution of these energy solutions.