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LAGOS INTENSIFIES SUPPORT FOR MICRO, SMALL, MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

… Urges Government Agencies To Patronise Locally Made Goods And Services

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that the present administration is making deliberate efforts to support the growth of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, with the promulgation of policies that would ensure the sector continues to prosper.

The Governor, who stated this while addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the 4th edition of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Exclusive Fair on Thursday in Lagos, noted that the State’s Procurement Law was recently reviewed to encourage patronage of locally made products by government agencies.

This step, according to him, was a way of showing the State government’s disposition towards giving owners of small businesses a mileage by expanding their frontiers and creating additional opportunities for them. 

“In order to create opportunities for MSMEs to penetrate the local market, the State Public Procurement Law was recently reviewed to encourage patronage of our locally-made products by all State Ministries, Departments and Agencies. For us, this is charity beginning at home”, Sanwo-Olu asserted.

While challenging MSMEs to leverage on this opportunity, Governor Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Jaji,  encouraged other stakeholders outside the State Government circle to promote, patronise and use indigenous products and services in order to guarantee an overall development of the sector.

He maintained that the potentials of the MSME sector in terms of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship development, wealth creation, value addition and employment generation are too attractive to be ignored by any discerning government in the 21st century, assuring that the Lagos State Government will now pay cursory attention to the growth of the sector.

In his words, “the ingenuity of this sector of the economy, has no doubt, contributed to the rising consciousness that most of our local products and services are as qualitative and competitive as their foreign counterparts, hence, the onus lies on us to command deliberate actions towards intensifying promoting Made-in-Lagos, Nigeria campaign”.

He, therefore, called on all relevant stakeholders to also offer the needed impetus for the growth of the MSMEs, saying that “we can and will achieve a New Lagos with a healthier and more supportive business environment, more virile, sustainable and consumer-driven enterprises with qualitative and globally-competitive Made-in-Lagos brands”.

The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. (Mrs.) Lola Akande said that the desire of the State government to make Lagos a 21st-Century Economy can only be fully achieved if projects and programmes are put in place to activate and reap the benefits that are inherent in the MSME sector.

“MSMEs have been playing an important role in our State and the nation.  It behoves, therefore, on Government at all levels to focus on strengthening these agents of economic change towards increasing their capacities to create jobs and equitable opportunities for millions of Nigerians while diversifying the nation’s economic base through industrialisation”, the Commissioner stated. 

She expressed the belief that the significant contributions and determination of the burgeoning MSMEs in the State made the Governor Sanwo-Olu hinge the development plan on the well-articulated six pillars of Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy; Entertainment and Tourism; Security and Governance (T.H.E.M.E.S). 

Akande assured participants at the Fair that of all the six developmental pillars, the attainment of a 21st-Century Economy, which encompasses supporting local economy through investments in enabling MSMEs’ access to finance, infrastructure as well as a wholesome and friendly business environment is of great concern and very dear to the present administration.

In his remarks at the occasion, the Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mr. Ganiu Okanlawon Sanni averred that the under-development of MSMEs in the country over the years was as a result of the little or no attention paid to the sector in the past despite the inherent potentials.

He also identified the inability to finance the operations and growth needs of MSMEs as one of the banes confronting the growth of the sector, thus making it more expedient for government to step up actions towards supporting the profitable growth of the small business sector. 

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