Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has stated that the interventions/support his administration has extended to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) were intentional to empower them to overcome the global economic challenges.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Friday while declaring open the Year 2022 edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

According to him, Lagos State Government has continued to make giant strides by formulating and implementing Policies, Programmes and Projects that have impacted and stimulated economic growth in the State.

His words: “In our quest to build a globally competitive economy, especially through the MSMEs, we have improved considerably our Economic Policy Coordination and Implementation, we have encouraged Partnership Building between the Public and Private Sectors and we have prioritised Labour to facilitate and promote investment in the development of a quality workforce for the various categories of enterprises in the State. Without a doubt, my administration has been proactive and intentional in its support and interventions to improve and reinvigorate MSMEs”.

Speaking on the theme of the Fair: “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value”, Sanwo-Olu declared that he cannot agree less with the intent and purpose of the theme as under prevailing economic certainties, networking and value addition are important tactics that can be used by businesses, both small and large, to connect with others, acquire and retain customers, increase brand awareness and differentiate their places in the market, if they intend to stay competitive in the long run.

Mr. Governor averred that his administration has also been working to lower the Cost of Doing Business, Improve Ease of Doing Business, Build Skills, support innovations and strengthen the function of the Labour Market to improve capabilities, reduce conflict and foster harmonious industrial relations.

“It is also instructive to note that we successfully steered the State and the economy through the turbulent period of the COVID-19 pandemic and the hijacked #EndSARS protests. We led with confidence, provided direction and offered support to businesses that faced severe challenges. Permit me to state that through the various economic policies we have implemented, Lagos State has continued to attract Direct Foreign Investments, while our sustainable infrastructure projects continue to serve as support to industrial, commercial and other economic activities to foster shared prosperity among residents”, he affirmed.

The Honourable Minister for Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who represented President Muhammad Buhari, informed that the Fair, which is to promote businesses, will work to support the realisation of the action plan of the Federal Government, which include job creation, GDP growth, increased foreign exchange earnings and reduction of insecurity.

“Nigeria just ratified the establishment African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA). This will dramatically boost intra-African trade and deliver an integrated continental market of about 1.3 billion population. This trade is an opportunity to showcase the capacity of Nigeria to produce products of international standard”, he said.

The President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Asiwaju Olawale Cole explained that this year’s edition was premised on the theme: “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value”, which underscores the importance of relationships and networking for wealth creation.

“Our economy has been facing tough times as it emerges from the challenges of COVID-19, but further affected by the Russia-Ukraine War and Climate Change. LCCI is committed to the economic growth and self-reliance of the nation. We are working towards providing a platform for value-addition for non-oil and commercial activities”, he stated.

The President of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Ide John Udeagbala, while commending the Lagos State Government for continuously creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and the Federal Government for the timely presentation of the Year 2023 budget, advised the President to implement revenue generation and budget control strategies in order to reduce borrowing.

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