Edo State to Ensure MSMEs Survival through Alternative Sources of Energy


Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, the Managing Director of the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), emphasized the state’s dedication to supporting Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) during an interactive session with participants of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 45, Group Seven, from the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS). Energy security and climate change are among the challenges faced by MSMEs, but Edo State’s government, led by Governor Godwin Obaseki, has taken proactive measures to address these issues.
Nigeria’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels, particularly oil, and gas, leaves MSMEs vulnerable to fluctuating oil prices. Edo State has prioritized renewable energy and infrastructure development to diversify Nigeria’s economy and support MSMEs. Mr. Uwaibi highlighted inadequate infrastructure, insufficient investment in renewable energy, and unfavorable government policies as challenges faced by MSMEs in Nigeria today.
Determined to beat the odds, Edo State, with a population of over 5 million people and around 1 million MSMEs, has made significant progress in energy infrastructure. The Ossiomo Independent Power Plant supplies 95MW of electricity to government offices 24/7, while the Azura Power Plant supports MSME clusters with a stable power supply. Additionally, Edo State houses the highest onshore gas plant in the country, with two operational modular refineries and more being developed.
Collaborating with organizations like the Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) and the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), Edo State aims to empower MSMEs with alternative energy sources. The state is supporting 20 solar energy developers, allowing MSMEs to reduce their reliance on the national grid and ensure consistent access to electricity.
Edo State’s commitment extends beyond energy security. The government has established a Forestry Commission and launched a 10-year plan to plant 1 million trees, contributing to climate change mitigation. Investors in the agriculture sector are also mandated to allocate land for afforestation, emphasizing the state’s dedication to sustainable development.
Participants in the SEC course commended Edo State’s support for MSMEs and suggested exploring the best use of available assets, such as partnering with international developers to create high-quality establishments without additional costs. Professor Mrs. Fransisca Emokare expressed gratitude for Mr. Uwaibi’s lecture, which highlighted Edo State’s conducive environment for MSME operation.
Edo State’s efforts to ensure the survival and prosperity of MSMEs, along with its commitment to alternative energy sources, serve as a model for sustainable development. By diversifying the energy mix and investing in renewable sources, the state is creating a more resilient environment for businesses. Furthermore, Edo State’s environmental conservation initiatives contribute to climate change mitigation and offer opportunities for sustainable industries.
The recognition of Edo State’s efforts by SEC course participants reflects the significance of the state’s initiatives in Nigeria’s economic development. Continued investment in energy infrastructure, research and development of renewable energy technologies, and favorable policies for MSMEs will contribute to Edo State’s long-term success.
In conclusion, Edo State’s commitment to MSME survival through alternative energy sources is commendable. By addressing energy security and climate change challenges, the state is paving the way for a sustainable and resilient economy. Through collaborations, strategic planning, and a holistic approach to development, Edo State sets an example for other regions in promoting MSME prosperity and environmental protection.