The Lagos State Government has restated its commitment to facilitate new opportunities for the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) across the state through a franchise scheme.

This was revealed at the launch of the Lagos MSMEs Franchise Framework Development Initiative organised by the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment in partnership with FRANDIS Forum, at Providence Hotel, GRA Ikeja.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on SDGs and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond said the initiative is part of the business support structure the present administration is putting in place to help MSMEs explore new markets, generate wealth and compete on a global level.

According to her, “The franchising industry is a quiet achiever. For many years there have been no headlines about the industry and its amazing contribution to our national economies. The market demand for this industry is growing by as much as 30% each year in the global markets and it is our understanding that the majority of our businesses are still unaware of this option and how they can access the space”.

Hammond revealed that Lagos State, being the cradle of commerce in Nigeria is ready to explore the enormous opportunities in the franchise industry to catalyse local businesses to meet global standards.

While pointing out that the government is directing its efforts to ensure MSMEs have access to capital, technology and marketing resources, the Special Adviser noted that the initiative presents a veritable platform to build brand equity for Lagos businesses and drive job growth.

The Special Adviser also revealed that MSMEs need to harness the vast potential of franchising to advance their products and services, adding that structure will address the underlying issues of capacity and performance.

In her words, “Providing the required structure for entrepreneurs will spur our local market and the investment we have made in the manufacturing industry. Franchising can be a strategic platform to link these infrastructures with the business opportunities that will support the growth of MSMEs”.

She said setting up the franchise platform is a major step in the delivery of tangible improvements to services, providing long-term certainty to the market and supporting our huge investment in the business ecosystem.

Hammond said: “As we strive towards becoming a smart city and dominant player in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement MSMEs, the state government will continue to partner with stakeholders to continually ensure that policies and programmes are rightly initiated”.

She affirmed that franchising offers a genuine path for wealth creation and scales up genuine efforts towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.

In her remark, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum stated that the current dynamics of the Nigerian MSMEs sector make the country suitable for a franchise business.

The Minister, who was represented by the Director, Industrial Development, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Ajayi-Ade Olumuyiwa, explained that reputable foreign and domestic franchisors with solid brands should explore the Nigerian market for MSMEs growth.

While highlighting the opportunities that abound in the franchise business model, the Minister stated that the scheme will promote the integration of Nigerian businesses into the regional and global value chain and proactively attract long-term local and Foreign Direct Investment.

Also speaking at the event, the Founder, FRANDIS Forum, Mr. Tayo Adedugbe described the scheme as a way of building a symbiotic relationship with local businesses and the largely untapped franchise market in the country.

He said the system has been designed to meet the specific needs of MSMEs in the State and adapt to the market reality, adding that the long-term objective is to have Nigerian products dominate the global market.

The event had in attendance the representative of Lagos Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Oluwole Isaac; Commercial Attache, US Consulate, David Russell; Mr. Simon Melchior of Eurocham Nigeria; Members of the franchise industry led by the President, Nigerian Industrial Franchise Association, Prof. Bankole Sodipo; Business owners in the MSMEs ecosystem and other stakeholders.

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