Mr Godshield Kanjal, an entrepreneur, has identified poor electricity supply and bad roads network in the rural areas as the biggest challenges affecting the growth of small scale business in Cross River.
He stated this on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar.
Kanjal, who specialises in turning raw plantain into chips, said these factors were pushing many small entrepreneurs out of business.
He said: “Honestly, lack of steady electricity supply and bad roads in the rural areas are major impediments to the growth of small businesses in Cross River.
“My small factory is in Ikom, Ikom Local Government Area of the state and I go to the rural communities to buy plantain.
“It is always very difficult to convey plantain from the communities to Ikom due to bad roads.
“Again, when there is no power supply, I have to run my generator for production.
“The result is that, apart from spending so much on petrol, I produce less.
“For example, with electricity, I can produce, sometimes, 500 bags of chips but with generator, I can only produce about 200 bags a day.
“So at the end of everything (cost of production), one ends up making little gain and this is pushing so many small entrepreneurs out of business.’’
He appealed to relevant authorities to create conducive environment for small scale entrepreneurs to enable them play their role in the economy.
“If we have a conducive environment such as good roads and regular power supply, we will play our role of assisting the government in job creation.
“I have people working for me and also we sell our products to hawkers in Calabar and Uyo.
“ Right now, we are planning to move over to Lagos, Enugu and Port Harcourt before hitting Abuja.But, under the present challenges it might be difficult.“
Edited by Dada Ahmed