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‘Nigerians appetite for more enterprises will boost nation’s economy’

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[FILES] Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said efforts to enhance ability of Nigerian enterprises to do more businesses locally and globally would boost the nation’s businesses and engender economic growth.

Speaking at the presentation of the $60 billion United States of America (USA) Prosper Africa Initiative in Lagos yesterday, he said access to sovereign funding opportunities designed to support the development and deepening of financial sectors in Africa was key to addressing access to credit and lack of funding.

Prosper Africa, a U.S. Government Initiative, unlocks opportunities to do business in Africa for the benefit of companies, investors and workers in Africa and the United States.

The governor, who was represented by Acting Commissioner for Works, Trade and Employment, Mrs. Solape Harmon, pointed out that the initiative would further expand trade and investments in several key areas of the economy, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

He said the new funding initiative would also address the phobia of most Nigeria businesses to expand beyond the country.

“There is this phobia of most Nigeria businesses to expand beyond their shores, very often beyond a city, but if you speak to young businesses in most countries of the world, especially North and South America and Asia, within three to five years they have expanded to several countries and several cities and that is one of the big keys to growth.”

“What we see here today is a milestone innovation and worthy of commendation. Access to sovereign funding, sovereign guarantee and national funding opportunities designed to enhance the ability of African enterprises to do more businesses locally and globally potentially addresses one of the biggest challenge, not only in the credit market in Nigeria today, but possibly is the key to growth. “

‘He also restated government’s commitment towards expanding the frontiers of business within the state as well as the opening of Lagos to strategic investment to create more jobs and grow the economy.

Responding, Chairman of Sifax Group, Taiwo Afolabi, said the USA Initiative would help increase trade and investment flows and attract more foreign direct investment into the country.

According to him, the initiative would allow the U.S. government and businesses to deploy longer-term strategies that would invigorate Africa’s trade and investments.

Afolabi also stressed the need for Nigeria to create alternative pools of capital formational to enable the country grow organically, adding that this would also help expand local and institutional investments and engender sustainable economic growth.


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