Lagos Restates Commitment to SMEs


Ugo Aliogo

The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, has expressed the commitment of the state to promote the growth of Small Mediums Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

This, she said followed the recent inauguration of the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund (ETF) aimed at encouraging; developing artisans and entrepreneurs in the state.
Adebule who disclosed this yesterday at the LEAP Africa annual 11th Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) Forum with the theme: “Attracting Financing for Your Business: Strategies and Opportunities,” in Lagos, noted that the state was fully committed to encouraging SMEs through deliberate programmes and projects in collaboration with relevant agencies with the hope of generating employment and creating wealth.

According to her, “the state has held a mini-trade fair for locally goods in its bid to commemorate industrialisation day.”

She explained that the administration remains committed to delivering good governance to the people and help businesses grow through the provision of better infrastructure, adding that the state government is ready to build the society of great economic value for everyone.

Adebule who was represented at the forum by the Director, Lagos state Ministry of Education, Mrs. Aniyeloye Omotayo, stated that as part of efforts to support SMEs, the state instituted the micro-finance fund established under the Office of state Micro-Finance Institution. She noted that the institute is targeted to provide additional funds to interested Micro-banks which in turn would grant loans to entrepreneurs.

She added: “The continued slide of the naira to the dollar, the falling oil prices, multiple taxations, the drop in interest rates, inadequate power supply, dilapidated infrastructure and others are some of the issues we need to discuss and find lasting solutions to. There is no doubt that building businesses from the small to the top takes a lot of financial commitment and dedication.

“I believe that for business to grow very well entrepreneurs need to make informed decisions based on prevailing economic conditions, have a good understanding of the finances as well as a strong financial base which is the bedrock of attracting huge investments. In addition, budding entrepreneurs should have a clearly defined value propositions, a strong team and personnel, proper management of account and seek advice from mentors who are experienced in the industry of choice.

“I’m aware of several initiatives for mentoring young entrepreneurs such as the Naira Mentor, which connects budding entrepreneurs to business leaders, YOU WIN project, the Tony Elumelu Enterprenuership 100 million dollars entrepreneur fund, Dangote-BOI five million naira fund for small business, Shared life provider, Bank of Industry and federal Ministry of Women affairs and social development 90 billion extent development among others.

“This is platform once again underscores your commitment to the sustainability of fledging business rise through exposure to the information and global best practices which are critical to establishing effective business organisations. It is hoped that the discussions made at the forum would also help us to pursue better policies as the government intensifies better efforts to diversify the economy.”

In his remark at the event,nthe Managing Director of Financial Derivatives, Mr. Bismarck Rewane decried the delay in decision-making process in the country, the uncertainty about direction and the prices of petroleum products.
He noted that there has been euphoria in the stock market when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it would adopt a new flexible exchange rate policy.