5,527 MSMEs in Lagos Share N4.5b Funding Support
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Not less than N4.5 billion has been disbursed to 5,527 Medium Small Manufacturing Enterprises (MSMEs) by the Lagos Employment Trust Fund in the last one year.
Speaking on Monday at the 2nd Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) exclusive fair themed ‘Unleashing the Potentials of MSMEs for Economic Diversification,’ Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State his administration will continue to do more for the sector.
The Governor, who spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, noted that despite the contributions of the MSME sector to the Lagos economy, the sector’s competitiveness was weakened by limited access to credible, customized-business support and inability to penetrate local and expanded markets, emphasizing that there is a need to build strong public-private support systems that would enhance the capacity of the MSME sector for economic diversification.
“I charge you to take advantage of the structures our administration has put in place to support your businesses and together, let us build world class businesses which would positively impact on Lagos, Nigeria and the World,” the Governor disclosed.
Mr Ambode urged all exhibitors to take full advantage of the platform of the fair and e-commerce to launch their products to a global but competitive market.
At the inception of his administration in 2015, Governor Ambode set aside N25 billion to support the small scale sector.
Yesterday, the Governor revealed that the fund, in partnership with the UNDP and private sector employers, will also train 16,000 unemployed Lagosians in order to take up technical and vocational jobs, adding that, “The state government would launch innovation driven enterprise framework to support business start-ups in the fourth quarter of this year.”
He reiterated the commitment of the present administration to continually implement enterprise-friendly policies and develop the critical infrastructure that would enhance the productivity and competitiveness of all businesses in the state.
“We will continue to support the growth of MSMEs and make concerted efforts to develop enterprise cluster parks especially the Imota Light Industrial Park”, he said.
The Governor informed that the theme of this year, ‘Unleashing the Potentials of MSMEs for Economic Diversification,’ throws a challenge to all players, both public and private, to look inwards and develop the internal and external capacities of the local non-oil MSME for steady growth and global competitiveness.
He stated that the 4-Day fair would match-up the local small-scale industrial giants with business development support providers, investors from the private sector, public regulatory support agencies at the state and Federal government levels as well as foreign economic development institutions.
Speaking earlier, Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Prince Rotimi Oguleye, described Lagos as the largest hub of MSMEs and the economic nerve-centre of Nigeria, accounting for more than 3 million micro and 11,663 small and medium enterprises that are significantly boosting the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), generating employment, creating sustainable enterprises, and accelerating value-added industrialization.
Also speaking, Chairman, House Committee on Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mr Oladele Adekanye, expressed appreciation to Governor Ambode-led administration for introducing the numerous innovative interventions aimed at enhancing the capacity of the small-business sector so that its members could actively contribute to national development and economic recovery.
The event also attracted the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mrs Nike Akande; representative of the National President of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Iyalode Alaba Lawson; and members of the Organised Private Sector.