By Rukayat Moisemhe/Florence Onuegbu
Lagos, July 13, 2021 The Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr Lola Akande, has urged Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to explore alternatives to grow their businesses.
Akande gave the advice on Tuesday during the 6th Edition of the Lagos State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Exclusive Fair held in Ikeja, with the theme: “Effect of COVID-19: Charting the Way Forward for MSMEs.”
She said the COVID-19 pandemic had made it imperative for operators of MSMEs to seek alternative means of promoting their businesses to stay afloat and to grow their businesses.
According to her, MSMEs can access the online market to deliver their products to buyers/clients around the country and across the globe.
He said the sector was the engine of economic growth, contributing up to 50 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last five years and provided up to 80 per cent of jobs in the country.
“Also, the United Nations(UN) records that MSMEs account for 90 per cent of businesses across the globe and provide 60 to 70 per cent of employment.
“Locally, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reports that the informal sector accounts for 99.8 per cent of MSMEs, with 10 per cent of these being registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) — primarily as business names.
“This implies that failure to bolster MSMEs will lead to loss of employment, a reduction in the spending power of the average citizen and ultimately, an exponential increase in poverty and insecurity,” she said.
Akande said in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of making Lagos State a 21st century economy, MSMEs had continued to receive support from the Lagos State government in various ways.
She said while the government continued to work tirelessly, it was also crucial for MSMEs to look inwards, to not just survive but also thrive.
“They must consciously consider survival approaches such as adaptation and collaboration,” the commissioner said.
Mr Oladele Ajayi, the Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, urged Nigerians to have the mindset of promoting Made-in-Lagos products by buying and using them.
Ajayi said this would help drive brand awareness and further create more jobs.
“It is imperative that as residents and citizens of Lagos State, we all note that promoting the Made-in-Lagos products will further strengthen job employment.
“A state which has over 80-95 per cent of the youth fully engaged is sure to advance in course,” he said.