N-Power: Business owners solicit support for expansion

By Fidelia Okosodo/ Mary Chibuzor

Owners of some small and medium businesses on Tuesday appealed to the Federal Government for loan assistance to boost their businesses.They made the appeal in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the inauguration of NEXIT-CBN Agri-Business, Small and Medium Enterprises Scheme (AGSMEIS) in Abuja.Mrs Favour Atabo, a palm oil seller, said she ventured in the business to sponsor her education and had become her major occupation since she left school.

“I started my palm oil business in a small scale while I was a student, but not without challenges. It was difficult initially due to lack of funds and patronage, but I can boldly say now that my business has become so profitable that I have several apprentices, “she said.Atabo attributed the reasons for attending the N-power programme to enable her join other business owners to solicit for supports from the Federal Government through loans and grants.

Also, Mr John Aka, a caterer, said that he started his business in 2005 with his little saving, but had turned out to be more profitable and lucrative.Accoding to him, with the proceeds from his business, he has been able to provide for his family, get an apartment for himself and also serves as means of livelihood to him.

“My motivation into the business is my passion for cooking which I learnt from my mother, my vision is to become a good cook like my mother and to go into a business that is different from what other men are doing, “he said.Aka identified some of the challenges facing his business to include, cost of shop rent, lack of capital and increase in the price of foodstuffs.

He, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to assist them with grant, loans and equipment to enhance their businesses through the N-Power programme.Mr Isa Abdulatif, a farmer told NAN that he wanted the government to provide loans and equipment in order to utilise his ten plots of land in Edo.

Abdulatif said that as a cassava farmer, provision of equipment and loans would encourage Nigerians go into agriculture.He thanked the organisers of the programme, saying it had served as avenue for farmers and business owners to solicit assistance from the Federal Government to facilitate their businesses. (NAN)