Lagos State Government has engaged the Lagos State Council of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, to discuss the challenges facing the sector due to COVID-19, promising to provide a workable solution that would help ameliorate the problems facing entrepreneurs in the State. Addressing members of the MSMEs in Ikeja, on Tuesday, the Honourable Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. Lola Akande assured that the outcome of the meeting would further be discussed at the forthcoming Corporate Assembly scheduled for 23rd July, 2020 with Mr. Governor. She explained that the Council meeting on MSME is an instrument through which technical, financial and other business support linkages are promoted between MSME operators, public/private local and institutional support agencies in the State and at Federal level.
The Commissioner disclosed that plans are already being perfected by the State Government to launch Lagos MSME Hub and E-Commerce platform as a way of enhancing on-line trading and capacity building for the MSMEs operators where they would be exposed to various market opportunities, financial linkages, networking, mentoring and how to embrace innovative approaches to their businesses. Dr. Akande averred that the State Government will continue to design and administer policies, initiatives and intervention that would help to enhance, promote, attract and harness the potentials of MSMEs for the development of the State economy and Nigeria at large. According to her, "The State Government, in collaboration with the Federal Government, is also planning to establish a Fashion Hub Centre in Gberigbe, Ikorodu to take the fashion industry to the next level as well as meeting up with international standards”. "Also, an industrial estate is ongoing at Imota Light Industrial Estate, Ikorodu to provide accommodation for our small-scale industrialists with modern facilities that would be heavily subsidised", she added.
The Commissioner averred that these plans are being put in place under the present administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, in response to some challenges confronting the sector and as a way of engendering growth, development and sustainability of MSMEs towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 in the State. In her remarks, the Chairman of Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists, NASSI, Lagos, Mrs. Gertrude Akhimien urged the State Government to develop a comprehensive programme for mass establishment of cottages/small scale entrepreneurship across the State through the setting up of more industrial clusters. The Chairman, who commended the Lagos State Government for being proactive in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, said that the development has made it imperative to ramp up economic activities to forestall imminent economic recession and its attendant risks. She, however, challenged the State government to take urgent steps on tighter labour laws and actionable job creation projects, adding that, with the collaborative effort from both the private sector and the state government, making Lagos a 21st-century economy can be achieved.