Lagos States restates commitment to N25billion MSME fund
Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Rotimi Ogunleye has disclosed that the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration is committed to the disbursement of the N25billion micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) fund.
Speaking at a business roundtable with members of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Lagos Chapter recently, he recalled that since its inception, over a thousand MSMEs have been empowered through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Loans with single digit of five per cent interest rate.
With the theme: “Reflating the Economy through MSME support,” he also urged NASME members to develop plans that would assist in positioning MSMEs as a veritable vehicle for the reflation of the nation’s economy, while also enhancing the purchasing power of members of the public.
He urged members to also key into the various initiatives of the State Government aimed at bringing the sector to its rightful position, being a major contributor to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Commissioner, who commended the state chapter for its contribution to the development of SMEs, and better service delivery of members, also encouraged the leadership of the Association to consider expanding the potential of the MSME sector that has remained largely untapped.
He added that the State Government is working towards eliminating several factors mitigating the growth of MSMEs. These include inadequate finance, ownership structure, and dearth of infrastructure, unskilled/under- developed manpower, lack of standardisation of product, lack of appropriate market, product and technology-related information and a host of others.
He added; “All the problems confronting SMEs have been noted by the State Government, which is why government has been providing business support to MSMEs through various interventions and initiatives aimed at exposing entrepreneurs to online marketing platform as a way of increasing product visibility and market expansion. The State Government has also continued to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive as evidenced in the massive infrastructural renaissance and the positive socio-economic development across the State.”
He said the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives is assisting and promoting SMEs by providing platforms for them to showcase their products through Trade fairs and exhibitions. He added that the preparation of the 2nd MSME Exclusive Trade Fair is in top gear, and is billed for the last week in August this year.
Besides, he said Ambode established the IBILE Microfinance Bank, to serve as the main disbursement vehicle to finance the N25billion fund.