… Lagos State has the highest number of MSMEs – 11,663 and 3,224,324 micro-enterprises
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has restated the commitment of his administration to the growth of MSMEs in the State.
The Governor stated this during the official opening of the 5th Edition of the Lagos State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Exclusive Fair organised by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives at the LTV Blue Roof, Alausa, Ikeja.
The Governor, represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, noted that MSMEs are a foremost catalyst of the State’s industrialisation drive, assuring that the present administration will give utmost attention to the sector.
In his words, “Unarguably, the MSME sector is the backbone of the Nigerian Economy and a foremost catalyst of our State’s industrialisation drive towards increased production and value addition to manufacturing, trade and commercial services”.
“Our MSMEs, indeed have not only contributed significantly to our economic regeneration but also to employment and wealth creation, poverty alleviation and qualitative standards of living”, the Governor stated.
Sanwo-Olu opined that this year’s theme “MSMEs in the time of COVID-19: Survival Strategies to Beat the Odds”, is apt and timely given the importance and roles MSMEs can play as a springboard for economic recovery, adding that the global economy is currently facing a major crisis that is projected to get deeper due to the pandemic, hence the need to look inward for solutions.
While urging the MSMEs to start thinking more strategically with technology as digital capabilities are the key drivers in surviving the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Governor maintained that customers are relying solely on online businesses to get products and services they need while at the same time trying to stay safe.
“Today, more than ever before, the business world is going digital and business owners who are leveraging digital presence to offer and deliver their services have a huge advantage. This is the perfect chance to make a transition into the digital space and get your business the support it needs”, Sanwo-Olu asserted.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. Mrs. Lola Akande stated that according to statistics, the MSMEs sector provides about 48% of the GDP of Nigeria and accounts for 96% of businesses, revealing that Lagos State has the highest number of MSMEs – 11,663 and 3,224,324 micro-enterprises.
She noted that the Fair is part of the government’s effort to continually provide aid to entrepreneurs and business owners in order to mitigate challenges faced and lauded the tremendous support of the present administration towards the development of MSMEs in the State.
This, she said, includes the mandate to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to provide affordable loans to MSMEs at a reduced interest rate and three months moratorium on loans accessed by MSMEs, through LSETF, as a palliative measure to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
Maintaining that Governor Sanwo-Olu is passionate about the growth of the MSME sector, she implored MSMEs to leverage on the knowledge that would be gained throughout the six days fair to network and connect with new partners and opportunities across the globe.
The President of Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Mrs. Gertrude Akhimein appreciated the State Government’s efforts towards the growth and development of the MSME sector in Lagos, reiterating the Association’s continuous support and cooperation with the Lagos State Government.