Lagos is hub of SMEs —Commissioner


LAGOS State is the hub of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the west coast, with a concentration of 3,224,324 micro operators and over 11, 663 SME operators, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, has declared. He made the declaration at the 2nd Lagos State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Exclusive Fair. Ogunleye stated: “It is a fact that Lagos State is the hub of the largest concentration of MSMEs. We have 3,224,324 micro operators and over 11, 663 SME operators. They are all contributing to boosting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation, generating employment and creating sustainable entrepreneurship. Thereby, they add value to our move towards industrialization.” The commissioner however lamented that in spite of the importance of MSMEs, they have not been able to expand the frontiers of their market, noting that the fair evolved out of a need to strengthen the existing public-private business ecosystem with the aim of developing the sub-sector. He said the fair would be a platform for partnerships and linkages between operators, financiers, government agencies and the academia, adding that the expectation is that the fair will assist in discovering innovations and opportunities that would boost the sector. Ogunleye commended the initiative of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) scheme, a N25 billion fund created in 2016 to boost entrepreneurship in the state, aimed at up-scaling the growth of the MSMEs subsector. President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mrs Nike Akande, in her remarks said the fair attests to the state government’s commitment to promoting small businesses, adding that the government’s focus on providing an enabling environment had positively impacted on private sector performance in the state. Akande stated: “Small businesses are crucial to job creation, economic diversification, creativity and income redistribution. They are also critical to building an inclusive economy. The bitter lessons of the collapse of oil prices, shrinking oil output and skyrocketing naira exchange rate dictate that we should look inward.”