Lagos State Government has organised a technology literacy programme for artisans and owners of Small and Medium Scale enterprises as a way of optimizing business opportunities that abound locally and internationally.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the programme, the State Commissioner for the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr. Babatunde Durosimi-Etti said the State Government, in collaboration with Service City and Microsoft, embarked on the training of artisans and owners of SMEs in order to enable them leverage on the use of peculiar technologies to ease their process of doing business.
He explained that the government is working to eliminate the challenges of access to funds, information and services, lack of market place and unavailability of technology that had hitherto threatened the survival of small businesses.
Durosimi-Etti, who was represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olorunfemi Mustapha at the event, said the State Government is creating a viral marketing platform through which artisans could display their products, goods and services to the outside world with the aid of appropriate technology.
On access to finance, the Commissioner assured them that the Employment Trust Fund already operational in the State would be extended to the organized and registered artisans to upgrade their businesses.
He said that upon verification of income accruable to the artisans on a frequent basis, they would be linked to the Ibile Micro Finance for access to capital commensurate to their income to allow further expansion of their businesses.
The Commissioner added that the artisans would also be exposed to a pension system that would make it possible for them to enjoy retirement benefits in their respective vocations like workers in the private and public establishments.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Service City, Mr. Femi Ogunsehinde, said that the partnership with the relevant stakeholders, including the State Government, would bring awareness of tools’ opportunities and connect artisans to the digital space.
He said the level of literacy among the artisans would not be a barrier to their success stories in adapting to new technologies provided they give it the needed attention and commitment.