The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has stated that with deliberate policy, his administration is putting in place the support system needed by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the State to meet the target of exporting to Africa and beyond.

The Governor disclosed this today in his keynote address at the Opening Ceremony of the 8th Edition Of Lagos State MSMEs Exclusive Trade Fair Held on Tuesday, Ikoyi Lagos.

Speaking through the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, the Governor stated that this is intended to increase the productivity of entrepreneurs, improve the well-being of the citizenry and set the State on the path of sustainable economic growth.

“Our administration has already expressed its readiness for the next phase by setting up the State Technical Working Group on AfCFTA, which comprises the representatives of both the public and private sectors. Besides, the state is going beyond this to identify new opportunities for diversification and value chain development available under the Agreement, along with complementary actions needed to overcome existing constraints to intra-African trade: he said, adding that his administration will designate a cluster for selected exportable products and provide the required system, including collaborations with relevant Federal Government agencies, to facilitate the export of MSMEs products.

Commenting on the theme of the fair, “Empowering MSMEs for AFCFTA Excellence through Sustainable Economic Growth’’, the Governor described it as quite important, as it bears direct relevance to the clarion call of the administration to transform and position the State as a 21st Century Economy, in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S+ Development Agenda, and in alignment with the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government.

He noted that consequent upon Nigeria’s joining the AfCFTA, which is poised to become a game changer for the African economy, the government is duty bound to position the MSMEs to take advantage of this continental agreement by providing the platform and exposing them to skillset required to accelerate the effectiveness of AfCFTA in stimulating intra-African Trade.

He added that this will particularly impact the exports of the State and the Nation to African countries, significantly increasing it between 10 percent and 15 percent in the nearest future, saying that it will tremendously increase the Gross Domestic Product, GDP of Nigeria, of which Lagos State’s economy is a subset.

He was also of the view that a responsive and responsible government, his administration has continued to provide support in form of access to market through annual organization of the MSMEs Exclusive Trade Fair and other exhibitions, access to finance through its agencies, and provision of infrastructure across the state. These efforts, he said, are geared towards assisting entrepreneurs and business owners to mitigate challenges hindering market access, finance, production and movement of goods and services across the State.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem said, the Lagos MSMEs Exclusive Trade Fair is an undeniable evidence of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu administration’s unwavering commitment to the continuous growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the State.

The Commissioner added that recognizing their importance as the engines of innovation, employment generation, and poverty alleviation, the present administration has continued to prioritise initiatives aimed at enhancing MSMEs’ capacities, fostering entrepreneurship, and creating an enabling environment for sustainable growth.

She stated further that as the state government invest in the capacity building of MSMEs in the state, they are not only empowering local businesses but also laying the foundation for Lagos State to become a hub for regional trade and investment, adding that the success of AfCFTA is contingent on the ability of our businesses to compete effectively on a larger scale, and it is believed that a thriving MSME sector is the key to achieving this.

Speaking further, the Commissioner said, “The economic growth and development we anticipate extends beyond Lagos State. By enhancing the capacities of our MSMEs, we contribute to job creation, poverty reduction, and overall economic prosperity of the nation. A vibrant MSME sector will lead to increased productivity, attracting domestic and foreign investments, and positioning Lagos as a strategic player in the African economic landscape”.


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