The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called on local and international investors to partner Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the state to scale up their products and services in order to break into the African Continental Free Trade Area and the global market.
The governor asserted that with the collaboration, there will be a reasonable return on investment for small businesses in Lagos and Nigeria.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 8th Lagos MSMEs Exclusive Trade Fair held at the Y-Arena Awolowo Road, Ikoyi at the weekend, Sanwo-Olu noted that the Fair was a marketing platform to promote the products and services of entrepreneurs in the state at no cost.
Represented by the Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment, Mrs Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, the governor acknowledged the contribution of the sector as a catalyst of a viable economy, stressing that the state will continue to promote various range of products and services that are made in Lagos through the sector.
”MSMEs remain a major factor in creating employment and wealth, generating income, improving standard of living and enabling investment opportunities for profit. Your developmental role is not only significant but highly commendable.
“This is why I must draw the attention of investors to take advantage of the opportunities in this sector in order to grow the economy of the state.
“I must emphasise that we have obtained many feedback from this Fair. These will help the state government greatly in planning for future events and improving on our service delivery towards making Lagos a 21st century economy.
“The theme of this 8th edition of Lagos MSMEs Exclusive Trade Fair, ‘Empowering MSMEs for AfCFTA Excellence through Sustainable Economic Growth,’ is appropriate and well-timed. It speaks to the T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Development Agenda of Mr Governor, including the steps being taken to position women and youths to explore the benefits of AfCFTA and the global market in general.
“In the last five days of this great Fair, we have impacted and increased the local economic activities of the Lagos Division. Through the engagement of entrepreneurs, vendors and artisans dealing in marquee, shell scheme (booths), carpenters, electricians, food, chair and table rentals, cleaners and others, we have generated employment and improved standard of living,” he said.
He added that the state remains resolute to empower individuals and groups that can drive the growth of MSMEs as he vowed to sustain the convocation of the Fair in order to activate more economic activities at the local level.
The governor added that his government will develop a compendium of Lagos MSMEs in sectoral form to have a proper database as well as continue to strive in driving investment inflow and attract both domestic and foreign direct investments to the state through MSMEs.
The representative of the exhibitors, Mrs Bosun Solarin, lauded the governor for his inclusive government that has brought together MSMEs and urged the government to continue the stride in that regard.
Others at the event commended Lagos State for allowing exhibitors to display their products for six days at the venue free of charge.