• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Sanwo-Olu seeks single-digit interest rate to drive MSMEs’ growth

Group faults N5bn Lagos dredging contract

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has advocated for a single-digit interest rate in the country, to enable micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) access funding to drive their businesses.

Sanwo-Olu spoke at the celebration of International Women’s Day, with the theme, “Economic inclusion of women entrepreneurs (NANOs/MSMEs) at the grassroots/community level” which held in Ikeja, the state capital.

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According to the governor, single-digit interest rate will unlock the growth of small businesses and position them to create more employment opportunities. Nigeria’s unemployment rate currently stands at 5.0 percent.

The governor said his administration will support bringing more women into the net of the state’s empowerment programmes to allow them contribute to the growing economy.

Represented by Obafemi Hamzat, his deputy, Sanwo-Olu noted that the state was paying attention to women’s empowerment and has strengthened its efforts in the provision of capital, training and network necessary to grow their businesses.

He said the event was designed to offer a financing platform, training on digital marketing and skills, financial inclusion as well as presenting free Point of Sales Machines (POS) to enhance their businesses and other gifts from Lotus Bank.

“Today, as we look to the future, we are committed to building on these foundations with even greater enthusiasm. Our focus is on leveraging technology to create more accessible platforms for women entrepreneurs, especially at the grassroots level. This is one of the reasons why we embarked on the Six Thousand Kilometre Fiber Duct Infrastructure Project. The first phase, which is three thousand kilometres, is nearing completion.

“My charge to the ministry and our technical partners – banks is to lower the interest rate for this category of women so that it is not this 25 percent that will be killing. We must look at how to ensure that the loans are not as prohibitive as for normal commercial enterprises because these are like mini and micro businesses.”

He said Lagos State has initiated specific economic recovery programmes that have supported women-owned businesses to thrive, with grants, extended loan moratoriums, and business advisory services which have helped them to navigate the current business climate.

The maiden event organised by the ministry of commerce, cooperatives, trade and investment in collaboration with Women Entrepreneurs and Professional Development Network (WEPDN), according to Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, the commissioner in charge of the ministry, was initiated to recognise and discuss the critical role women play in shaping businesses, leading to economic prosperity.

Ambrose-Medebem explained despite the enormous contributions of women to the growth and development of the nation, they were still facing challenges that impede their economic empowerment and inclusion, but that Lagos State government has programmes that will remove those barriers.