Local Manufacturers, Small Business Owners Begin Trade Fair in Lagos
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
On Monday, the first Lagos chapter of the National Association of Small Scale Industrialists – Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (NASSI – MSME) Trade Fair commenced at Alausa, Ikeja.
The event was declared open by the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives in the state, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye.
During his speech, the Commission assured of the Lagos State government commitment towards improving small business enterprises in the state until their transformation from micro to large scale business.
Mr Ogunleye said that Lagos remains committed to making small-scale industrialists globally competitive as well as ensure its steadfastness on the utilization of locally made products, adding that a number of intervention programmes have been initiated and implemented by the State Government towards enhancing the productivity of the Small Scale Operators.
The Commissioner listed some of the incentives made available by the state government to include the establishment of Employment Trust Fund, organizing first ever MSME Trade fair, inauguration of the Lagos State MSME Council, establishment of a Light Industrial Park at Imota among several others.
“The partnership of the State-Government with Kebbi State on the production and introduction of the Lake Rice into the Nigerian markets is an eloquent testimony of the State Government’s commitment towards the promotion of locally made products and consumption of same.
“Furthermore, provision of power, though outside the remit of the State Government, the present administration of Governor Akinwumi Ambode is committed to providing 3,000 mega watts of electricity to the good people of Lagos State through an embedded approach between now and 2019. This is in recognition of the critical role of electricity in industrialization.” the Commissioner reiterated.
He gave assurance that the State Government will not stop in giving necessary support and assistance to all Business Members Organization (BMO) and also continue to strengthen the already existing cordial relationship between MSME and the State Government.
“I will like to re-affirm that we shall not relent in our efforts until we all become ambassadors of Made-In-Nigeria goods” Mr Ogunleye stated.
Emphasizing the theme for the Fair, “Promoting Made-In-Nigeria Products towards Industrial Self-Reliance”, Mr Ogunleye charged participants at the fair to continue to engage more frequently with the Ministry on their challenges so that the government can proffer appropriate solution.
He said that entrepreneurs need to show the whole world that small scale industrialists are key players in the overall economic development of the nation just like what obtains in other parts of the world where small industrialists provide a large chunk of employment opportunities.
Speaking earlier on what necessitated the MSME-Exclusive Fair, the Chairman of NASSI, Lagos chapter, Mr Segun Kuti-George said that the fair was in response to the need to expose indigenous products and services to both local and international consumption and patronage.