Sanwo-Olu applauds FG’s MSMEs initiatives, policies

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GOV. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos has commended efforts and commitment of the Federal Government towards the growth and sustenance of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through initiatives and policies.

Sanwo-Olu gave the commendation on Friday during a two-day retreat by the Governing Board of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) held in Epe, Lagos.

The theme of the retreat was: “Strategic Management Imperatives for Optimal Performance in the Enabling MSMEs Development Ecosystem.”

According to him, Federal Government has sustained operations of the MSMEs through initiatives and policies embedded in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and Presidential Enabling Business Council, among others.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Mrs Omobolanle Ogunmola, said the state was committed to the construction of Light Industrial Park which was located at Imota, Ikorodu, Lagos.

He said the park was about 60 per cent completed and designed to boost small business with amenities that would boost the productivity and profitability of MSMEs in the state.

“For us in Lagos State, the challenges are indeed surmountable because we have positioned our MSMEs for growth through regular provision of support services such as training and skill acquisitions for our artisans, youths and women-owned enterprises.

“Others are; financial empowerment through the Lagos state Employment Trust Fund; marketing intervention programmes such as sponsorship of participants at Trade Fairs and exhibitions, including the Lagos International Trade Fair and annual organisation of our state’s flagship MSME exclusive fair which propels the global visibility, productivity and profitability of our teaming MSMEs,” Sanwo-olu said.

He urged the leadeship of SMEDAN to raise the tempo in sustaining a positive business environment for MSMEs to thrive better.

Sanwo-Olu said that there was the need for friendlier legal and regulatory environment devoid of bottlenecks and fused with greater business support, saying that more efficient stakeholders management should be the next focus for government.

The Chairman, Governing Board of the SMEDAN, Otunba Olufemi Pedro, commended the Lagos State Government for promising to expand the space for MSMEs.

Pedro said this was the first retreat the board would be witnessing, saying that the retreat would give an opportunity to interact closely with members to exchange ideas.

“The board members do not know it all and that is why we want you to support us with reasonable ideas and we will like to hear your challenges, frustration in the course of operations.

“If you do not share your challenges with us, you may not have such opportunity. We want to work together and we need action not theoretical concepts that will move the agency to highest level of development,” Pedro said.

The Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr Umaru-Dikko Radda, said the retreat was the second since the inception of the agency and coincidentally the first that was held in Lagos which showed the importance of Lagos to MSMEs development in Nigeria.

According to him, the board retreat is being held to bring members out of their comfort zones so that they can concentrate and help proffer solutions to some of the challenges facing MSMEs sub-sector.

“This retreat will provide opportunity for board members and management to understand and learn from each other as well as providing opportunity to revisit current modus operandi and recommend new ideas that will provide enabling environment for the development of MSMEs Sub-sector.

“A crop of resource persons have been invited to speak on various areas that are important for future efficiency of the agency and to enhance our operations towards effective job delivery,” Radda said.

He said the agency was in the process of coming up with a five-year Strategic plan and the outcome of the retreat would be helpful in the design of the strategic plan.

The President, National Association of Small and Medium Entrepreneur (NASME), Mr Orimadegun Agboade, attributed lack of access to finance as the major problem facing members.

Agboade pleaded with the Lagos state government to look into the collateral registration, saying that the ministry of commerce, industry and cooperative was trying its best but banks were not cooperating.

According to him, until we see the actualisation of the collateral registration, we will not believe it.

He commended the state government for being supportive to enable their members to access grants.

Agboade, however, urged SMEDAN governing board to help in puting things in proper perspective to enable the Central Bank of Nigeria release windows for the SMEs. (NAN)

– July 12, 2019 @ 19:27 GMT |

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