BusinessDay

Lagos plans new industrial estate to boost investment in MSMEs

A new industrial estate is springing up at Gberigbe, Ikorodu, Lagos, aimed at encouraging more investment in micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in the state, Lola Akande, commissioner for commerce, industry and cooperatives, disclosed on Sunday.

The small-scale industrial estate, according to Akande, is coming to complement existing small industrial estates like Isolo, Mushin, and Sabo in Ikorodu, and is a further demonstration of the state government’s resolve to continue to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Apart from being home to thousands of MSMEs, Lagos is also Nigeria’s industrial/commercial hub, accounting for most of the quoted companies on Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and a key contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“We remain committed to providing a conducive environment for the organised private sector (OPS) and other stakeholders through continuous engagement in the implementation of policies, regulations and projects as they impact the business prosperity of the state.”

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“Also, to continue to complement the small-scale industrial estates at Mushin and Isolo as well as the industrial shed at Sabo in Ikorodu, plans are ongoing to develop a new small-scale industrial estate at Gberigbe, Ikorodu,” said Akande at the closing of this year’s edition of the Lagos exclusive MSMEs fair on Sunday.

She assured the business community of the state’s commitment to improving the business environment and making it more attractive for investors.

Akande listed existing projects/programmes in aid of MSMEs in Lagos to include Eko MSMEs fashion hub established in collaboration with the Federal Government to boost the fashion and apparel industry.

“The e-commerce digital platform was created to showcase MSMEs products and services to the world and the establishment of Lagos State Export Promotion Committee to promote the marketability of locally made products.

“Others include the Lagos Council on MSMEs, a broad-based platform comprising State and Federal Government agencies for the harmonisation of the state-wide dispensation of national and local MSME promotion, policies, measures and programmes.

The commissioner informed that the construction of 44 factory units at Imota industrial park was part of the government’s efforts to create a conducive environment for the OPS and other stakeholders in the state.

Akande noted that the factory was one of the government efforts at enhancing the growth of MSMEs and it is at 86 percent completion.

She called on MSMEs operating in the state to take advantage of the numerous benefits available in AFCFTA and the relevant stakeholders of various government agencies.

Wife of the state governor, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, in her goodwill message said, the annual fair has been a great platform to expose MSMEs to beneficial business clinics, as well as an opportunity for exhibitors to interact with private investors, business support providers, regulatory agencies and other institutional development agencies in Lagos.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the annual fair has also enhanced the profitability and global competitiveness of MSMEs and upscaled Lagos and Nigeria’s economic diversification agenda.

Speaking on theme, Sanwo-Olu said it was geared towards exploring the benefits derivable from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) framework by our local producers.

“Being a strategic instrument that offers Africa an opportunity to confront the significant trade and economic development challenges of our time, the significance of the AfCFTA cannot be undermined or trivialised especially as it relates to MSMEs which are the engine room of economic growth and development,” she said.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of awards to some of the exhibitors for distinguishing themselves at the fair. The awardees are Fashion & Accessories category won by Bimbeads Concept, Health Fitness category by Tonics Bathing Soap, the Clothing & Textiles category won by Sisi Aladire Entreprises, among others.

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