The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), a leading Nigerian private sector advocacy group, has launched a support center to enable entrepreneurs and SMEs operators get quality and affordable advisory services from consultants.
In her remarks at the event which held last Thursday,Toki Mabogunje, president of LCCI, represented by Michael Olawale-Cole, deputy president, said the initiative was part of efforts of the chamber to support businesses by providing professional services to entrepreneurs.
She said more than half of Nigeria’s labour force worked in the SMEs space and the increasing rate of business failure among SMEs was partly associated with their inability to access quality consulting services.
The support center is aimed at creating a platform where SMEs operators can consult experts in various sectors regarding the challenges they are confronted with, Mabogunje said.
“The center will equally assist SMEs to develop strategies for their business and avail them of necessary information that would make them operationally active in their respective sectors,”she explained.
The LCCI president was optimistic that the high mortality rate among small & medium-sized businesses would reduce once operators had access to information.
On his part, Okumura Makiko, chief representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at Nigerian Office, said that the initiative was the brainchild of the Knowledge Co-creation Program (KCCP) organised by the agency.
“Today, we witness one of the outcomes of the KCCP whereby a trainee acquires some skills and uses it to support SMEs
“The trainee, which is among the four LCCI staff JICA has supported to participate in the programme a couple of years back, was trained on Financial Access for SMEs,” Makiko disclosed.
He maintained that the initiative would enhance knowledge transfer and assist many businesses in the art of financial management.
The event gave SMEs the ample opportunity to meet professionals from SIAO, Skill Enhancement Center, Mquad Consulting, Michael Steven Consulting and law firm- Udo – Udoma & Belo Osagie, among other experts who were in attendance.