About N8.4 billion loan has been disbursed to support over 12,710 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) over the last four years, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor has said.
The intervention comes as part of an effort targeted at boosting the ease of doing business and improving the potential of local production to maximize profit, he said, speaking at the closing event of the Lagos International Trade Fair.
“We have been promoting locally made products by facilitating access to the market for entrepreneurs. For instance, the State continues to organize the MSMEs Exclusive Trade Fair and Exhibition, among several other efforts to expose the products of our MSMEs and assist them in gaining more access to local and regional markets,” the Governor said.
He noted that the government has sustained engagement with critical stakeholders through the Lagos Corporate Assembly quarterly meeting of the Lagos State Council on MSME, which spurs new inputs for policy development.
Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasized significant investments in infrastructure development including road construction, integrated intermodal multi-modal transportation systems, and the installation of a 3,000-kilometer metropolitan fiber optic cable network across the state.
These infrastructure projects aim to provide reliable and fast internet connectivity to homes and workplaces, facilitating business operations and promoting socio-economic development.
The governor further highlighted other initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty, reducing youth unemployment, promoting human capital development, and enhancing the social welfare of citizens.
These initiatives are collectively geared towards creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and contribute to the state’s economic growth.
Earlier in the year, the State Technical Working Group on Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was inaugurated to position the state to optimise the platform in boosting economic integration on the continent.
Highlighting the versatility of Lagos in the larger economy, Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade, and Investment, said the state contributes approximately 25 percent to the gross domestic product.
It has seen an eight percent growth in the non-oil sector, thanks to the activities of MSMEs that account for about 80 percent of the state’s employment.
She lauded entrepreneurs who, despite challenges, have built thriving businesses and international investors who chose Lagos as a hub of innovation and creativity among others
“The Lagos International Trade Fair has long been one of the platforms where these stories converge. Over its 36 previous editions and counting, the Fair has attracted millions of visitors, both local and international, connecting businesses from over 50 countries. This year, we are proud again to join LCCI in hosting over 2,000 exhibitors, to showcase the best of Lagos, Nigeria, and the world,” she said.
Michael Olawale-Cole, president of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in his speech charged governments at all levels to continue to foster an enabling environment for businesses, with a particular focus on infrastructure, insecurity, and appropriate policies.
“We need to do these to fully harness the huge enterprising resources of domestic and foreign investors for the diversification of our economy and the welfare of our people,” he said.