As the commercial and industrial hub of the country, the Lagos State Government rightly recognizes Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as sure catalysts for socio-economic growth. Indeed, they are responsible for job creation, wealth creation, empowerment, innovation, income generation and prosperity.
Therefore, the development of MSMEs is consciously driven in the state through the initiation and implementation of policies that create and foster a positive business environment. This aims to build technical and soft entrepreneurial skills and improve access to state financial networks and services.
To date, the administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has made vital interventions to advance the course of MSMEs in the state towards realizing its vision of transforming Lagos into a 21st century economy.
The government has established and commissioned the first Eko Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) fashion HUB 1 at Alade’s Market, Allen Avenue, Ikeja. The facility is an end-to-end fashion production center equipped with modern industrial fashion and textile machinery.
The Fashion HUB is designed for the public to use for a stipend, especially for those who cannot afford to own their own machines and rent the shops from the owners. It is managed by a fashion industry expert.
In order to strategically harness the potential of local entrepreneurs to develop the economy of the state, the government came up with the idea of the Lagos Corporate Assembly. It is a forum where the governor and other senior government officials meet with the business community to receive feedback from the organized private sector (OPS) on the implementation of policies, regulations and projects in the extent to which they impact the commercial prosperity of the state. The aim is to use this feedback more for planning, regulation and policy formulation.
Also, in an effort to promote locally produced products, the Lagos State Export Promotion Committee has been established at the state level. It includes members from the public and private sectors.
One of the main mandates of the Committee is the promotion of non-oil exports in Lagos State. This is in line with the policy of diversifying the economy away from oil and building a formidable economy. The Committee shall assist in the development and promotion of export-oriented industries.
In order to help state industries pursue and obtain the necessary export incentives; collection and dissemination of information on products available for export.
As part of efforts to further encourage MSMEs through the provision of industrial workstations, the Imota Light Industrial Park has also been designed to provide built factory units to small industrialists, especially those in the supply chain. food value.
The facility has 44 factory units of various sizes, including ancillary facilities such as the administration building, fire department, gatehouse, clinic, water booster station, and canteen.
The Sanwo-Olu administration also continued to support and maintain the existing state small-scale industrial zones located at Matori I & Matori II and Isolo as well as the Sabo industrial shed in Ikorodu.
To meet the need to provide additional workspaces for MSMEs, the government is set to establish another small-scale industrial zone at Gberibge in Ikorodu Local Government.
The regular sponsorship of the exclusive MSME Fair is a real vehicle used to support MSMEs in the state. The Institution of MSME Exclusive Fair was conceptualized to build a strong public-private support system that would enhance the capacity of MSMEs for economic diversification.
At fairs, senior government officials usually mingle with various MSME operators in order to get the necessary information on their prospects and challenges.
Fairs regularly focus largely on improving the quality of MSME production processes and outcomes to encourage the development of globally competitive products and services.
The main objectives are to provide indigenous producers with increased leverage for market access and global visibility, to encourage quality benchmarking and innovative improvements for local and international competitiveness, to promote MSME linkages with supporting trade and market facilitation channels, particularly e-commerce and facilitating linkages for investment opportunities and export development.
To date, the fairs have been able to achieve increased clientele and global exposure for products made locally in Lagos State, a healthier and more supportive business environment, stronger and more sustainable businesses as well as increased trade networks, sales opportunities and market access for indigenous children. brands.
Over 3,000 local MSME entrepreneurs have so far participated in the fairs with over 20 regulatory bodies providing institutional support, while over 10,000 daily visitors (buyers, investors and potential entrepreneurs) are targeted.
Speaking at the 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the annual trade fair has had a huge impact on the economy of Nigeria and Lagos State in particular, thanks to the opportunities unique opportunities offered to individuals and businesses to present their products and services to a greater number of people.
The Governor, speaking through the State Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Ms. Lola Akande, added that the International Trade Fair has also provided entrepreneurs around the world with opportunities to interact and create strong networks while developing their activities locally and across borders. .
Sanwo-Olu assured entrepreneurs and investors that his government would continue to create an enabling business environment to facilitate profitable returns on investments in the state.
Regarding the efforts to increase economic activities in the state, the Governor assured the entrepreneurs of the government’s commitment to improving the business environment to make it more attractive as a destination for the nation’s investors.
He said: “It is in pursuit of this objective that we have relentlessly pursued the implementation of reforms in critical sectors, including public service institutions and the judiciary, as well as the upgrading massive infrastructure and the development of the road network across the state to ensure a significant reduction in travel time”.
Supporting the growth and development of MSMEs is undoubtedly the best way forward to diversify our economy and create jobs for the population. The benefits and multiplier effects of investment in the sector will result in positive socio-economic impacts at all levels, including in terms of job and wealth creation, gradual redistribution of wealth and innovation.
Therefore, there must be concerted efforts by governments at all levels to focus on strengthening MSME operators to increase their ability to diversify the national economy.
These and other factors have duly informed the Lagos State Government’s various investments in the sub-sector. Viewed critically, the Sanwo-Olu administration’s renewed drive to promote MSMEs, thereby boosting the growth of the national economy, makes sense.
On the one hand, the state alone has about 3,224,324 micro enterprises and 11,663 small and medium enterprises, the largest concentration of MSMEs in Nigeria. This implies that the state has a role to play in changing the course of the economy for the better. The inherent pressure on Lagos in terms of economic migration compels the government to become actively involved in the promotion of MSMEs.
Nigerians, however, must support indigenous entrepreneurs by prioritizing locally produced goods and services. Only then can we develop and transform local industries. No country has managed to transform without adequate industrial growth or a healthy reliance on imported goods.
Ogunbiyi is Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja.