BusinessDay

Lagos refunds 9% loan repaid by MSMEs to cushion COVID-19 effect

The Lagos State government has refunded 9 percent of an initial loan deposited by Micro Small Business Enterprises (MSMEs) in what aims at cushioning the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses in the state.

The MSMEs had deposited the initial 9 percent to enable access loan being offered by the state government to stabilise their businesses which suffered a setback from the effect of the pandemic.

According to the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the 9 percent of the loan refunded was issued through the Lagos Employment Trust Fund (LETF) to all customers who had completed their loan repayment.

He said this action was a demonstration of the state government’s commitment to accelerate the recovery process of economic growth.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made this known while speaking at the Lagos State Day and closing ceremony of the 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair held at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, said the state would continue to place a high priority on the provision of key infrastructure that would make the state safe, secure, functional and productive as an impetus towards achieving sustainable economic growth through highly-motivated and vibrant private-sector participation.

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He said this year’s Lagos State Day presents yet another unique opportunity to showcase investment opportunities available in the state to the business community and also appraise the gathering of the efforts the state has been making to improve the business climate and attract more local and foreign investments.

“Since the inception of this administration, we have left no one in doubt as to our intention to accord the private sector a pride of place in our vision and plan to build a 21st-century economy.

“In the past two years, we have taken practical steps to translate our intentions into concrete actions through the various infrastructural projects and business-friendly policies that we have continued to implement with the overriding objective of making the environment more conducive for investments to thrive,” he said.

Speaking further, the governor assured members of the business community that his administration is committed to improving the business environment and making it more attractive to investors.

“We have also not relented in our efforts in the areas of ensuring improved power supply and enhanced internet connectivity which is a major component of the smart city project.

“I will not fail to mention the massive investment in stepping up the capacity of our security architecture which has ensured that Lagos State remains one of the safest states in Nigeria.

Also, the commissioner for commerce, industry and cooperatives, Lola Akande said the state government’s participation in the annual International Trade Fair was one of the many ways it is promoting and supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises ( MSMEs) in the state.

She stated that the Lagos State pavilion at the trade fair affords MSMEs the opportunity of showcasing their products and services for the awareness of members of the public, including the international community, at no charge.

“This is one of the many ways in which the state government is promoting and providing a networking platform for our MSMEs to stimulate demand for their products and services and ultimately facilitate the enhancement of their productivity,” she said.

Akande also said Lagos State is one of Nigeria’s most endowed economies and has a lot of business opportunities with a vast high-skilled pool of human resources.

“With the economic situation of our country today, it is imperative that Government and small businesses buckle up by growing and sustaining an entrepreneurial and innovation-driven economy, she added.

Speaking further she assured that the state will not rest on its oars until business prosperity is guaranteed.

“This is because the Lagos State government is keenly aware that the achievement of our dream of becoming Africa’s model megacity by 2025, is hinged on the continuous improvement of our business climate to stimulate more private sector investments into the State, create jobs and increase productivity” she added.

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