Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has restated his administration’s commitment to prioritizing the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 36th edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair, with the theme: “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value” held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos.
The Governor, who described MSMEs as the heartbeat of any economy, said their development was critical, particularly in the face of the current harsh global uncertainties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine- Russian war.
He said his administration will continue to partner with the Organized Private Sector as part of efforts to boost the state’s economy adding that his government would further create policies that would deliberately engender ease of doing business to enable the state to attract investments and allow businesses to thrive.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also urged business owners to take advantage of the opportunities in the state to grow their businesses which in turn boost the nation’s economy. He disclosed how MSMEs in the state have received soft loans from Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), among others.
Representing the President Mohammadu Buhari at the event, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said the Federal Government will continue to ensure that the atmosphere is right for businesses, especially manufacturing and export to thrive.He said Nigeria’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), would be a great opportunity for Nigeria as the country’s international trade recorded a trade surplus of N3.2trillion between January and June this year.
Adebayo, who described the Lagos International Trade Fair as a great opportunity to showcase Nigeria’s capacity to produce to international standards noted that the event which holds annually could be better with the collaboration of both the public and private sectors,
“The private sector can help boost the demand for Nigerian products by aggressively pursuing value addition greatly to the quality of goods originating from our country,” he said.
Showcasing business opportunities in Nigeria.
The Lagos International Trade Fair is the largest International Trade Fair in Nigeria, a spectacular 10-day event, which usually begins on the first Friday in November of every year, since 1981. In 1986, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry took over the organization of the fair in 1986 and has been staging the fair annually to date.
Over the years, the Fair has attracted both local and foreign exhibitors with the participation of local and foreign exhibitors growing steadily. The Fair holds in Lagos, the Commercial and Industrial heart of Nigeria, which is easily accessible by air, sea and land.
The Fair not only provides opportunities for various sector groups and professionals to present new products and new ideas, it also provides opportunities for tourism as Nigerians as well as non-Nigerians have the privilege of visiting places of interest in the country during the 10 –day event.