Stakeholders seek government’s support for MSMEs as UN marks day
The Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, has charged stakeholders in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to initiate practical and sustainable measures to transform nation’s economy. She made the call yesterday at an event to mark the United Nations (UN) World Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Day in Ikeja, Lagos. It was organised by United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), in collaboration with the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC).
According to International Council for Small Business (ICSB), MSMEs make up over 90 per cent of all firms and account for averagely 60 to 70 per cent of total employment and 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any economy.The commissioner argued that MSMEs were universal agents of socio-economic change responsible for formal employment generation and wealth creation.
Oladunjoye, who was represented by an assistant director in the ministry, Mr. Alayande Olarenwaju, praised Lagos State for constantly supporting the sector. “While there is an overarching need for skill development to enable our young entrepreneurs prepare for the future, creating an enabling environment for business to thrive is also important.
“This is why the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has consciously been driving MSME development through initiation and implementation of policies that create and foster a positive business environment.”
The Director of UNIC, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, said the sector was significant in the development of any economy.Kayanja urged policy makers to focus efforts at ensuring that young Nigerians are given the opportunity to start their own enterprises. “This day should help to energise, mobilise and involve many young people in their businesses. We believe this sector would help us to achieve our 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), because if the young people are not empowered, there cannot be peace,” he said.
The Director General, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, represented by Mr. Adeyemi Folorunso said MAN was SME-sensitive, hence high percentage of its members are SME owners.
“SME is an important component of national development and it must not be overlooked. Kadir urged operators in the sector to do more research into their products to achieve international standard. President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Babatunde Paul Ruwase, said the MSMEs were key in achieving the agenda 2030 of the SDGs. He commended the Federal Government’s efforts in introducing several intervention funds tailored towards empowerment of the sector.
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