The Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives has stated that the policies, programmes and projects of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu Administration are aimed at providing a conducive environment and stimulating business growth in the State.
The Commissioner, Dr. (Mrs.) Lola Akande made this known at the opening ceremony of Ikorodu Division Expo organised by Ikorodu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Lagos State University of Science and Technology, LASUSTECH, held at the Institution’s campus on Monday with the theme; “MSME: Key to an Inclusive and Sustainable Recovery for Economic Development”.
Speaking at the event, Akande, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Adetutu Ososanya, FCA, asserted that the administration of Mr. Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has been intentional about implementing programmes and projects meant to support businesses in the State.
Her words: “Recently, very ambitious projects initiated, facilitated or supported by the State Government were commissioned. These include the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Ibeju Lekki; Lagos Rice Mill in Imota, here in Ikorodu; 18.75km Eleko-Epe six-lane rigid pavement expressway; the first phase of the 13 kilometres Lagos Blue Light Rail and others. Without doubt, these projects are already impacting labour and many enterprises positively in different parts of the State. Ultimately, MSMEs will form the greater percentage of beneficiaries as they work towards sustainable recovery for economic development”.
Describing e-commerce as an enabler for business resilience and recovery, she declared that the successful completion of the first phase of the Lagos Smart City/Fibre Duct Infrastructure Project will drive business activities, particularly of MSMEs whose operations depend on fast internet access.
“The implementation of the project, which has recognised e-commerce as the new goldmine, will promote the penetration of digital technology in our economy and enable businesses to latch on to the numerous benefits of online platforms such as social media, global e-commerce platforms and websites to facilitate MSMEs access to wider markets, leading to increased patronage, production, employment generation and faster economic recovery. Thus, MSMEs higher digital maturity will reflect positively on the income of small business owners”, she said.
The Keynote Speaker and Lagos State Chairman, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Dr. Adams Adebayo emphasised the need to support MSMEs as they are the backbone of every economy.
“The challenges confronting the MSMEs varied and include access to low-interest loans, inadequate infrastructure, subsistence and manual production, mindset and lack of innovative ideas. Relevant institutions must create access to low-interest funds for entrepreneurs to access while there is a need for MSMEs to scale up their production to meet local and export needs. I also want to advise the Government to create a three-year pre-retirement entrepreneurship/investment window to transform public servants into entrepreneurs”, he stated.
The President, Ikorodu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Chief Kayode Shoderu expressed his delight in the organisation of the Expo, which he described as part of the commitment to building sustainable MSMEs, as the Fair provides the platform to showcase products and services while exploring opportunities for growth and innovation.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUSTECH), Professor Olumuyiwa Odusanya averred that the Expo is an opportunity to grow the economy of Ikorodu Division.
“The focus on the MSME sector can transform even the nation’s economy and lift people out of poverty. It is a time to market, sell and exchange goods and services”, he said.