By Rukayat Moisemhe/Florence Onuegbu
The Lagos State Government has invested N103 billon into the provision of infrastructure to provide downstream contracts for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu said on Tuesday.
The governor made the disclosure during the 6th Edition of the Lagos State MSMEs Exclusive Fair held in Ikeja.
The Fair had the theme: ”Effect of COVID-19: Charting the Way Forward for MSMEs”.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs Folashade Jaji, Sanwo-Olu said that the state government was passionately committed to the growth of small businesses.
He said that the state government recognised the role of the MSMEs in economic emancipation and their pivotal spot in the social and economic development of the state.
According to him, everyone has the collective responsibility of ensuring that MSMEs successfully overcame the economic and growth challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
”In the last two years, we have committed significant resources to the sustainability of the MSMEs, but the pandemic has further exposed the need for the public and private sector to meticulously develop the capacity of our MSMEs for growth and profitability.
”It is, therefore, a major reason why small businesses can always count on the Lagos State Government to provide the necessary backing for trade promotion and business development.
”We extended the tax-filing deadline by 60 days and loan moratorium by 90 days to ease MSMEs’ working capital challenges.
”In addition, through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, we have provided low interest loans to MSMEs to the tune of N10 billion.
”Our investment in MSMEs reflects our goal of making sure that small businesses are technically and financially empowered to generate lasting wealth,” he said.
The governor said that in the last one year, his administration had put in place significant interventions to boost the trade capacity of MSMEs in the state.
According to him, the goal is to ensure that small businesses in Lagos overcome the challenges of the economic crisis associated with the pandemic, as well as the destruction and looting that followed the EndSARS protest.
He said that government was collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to resolve the problem of access to finance by MSMEs.
Sanwo-Olu said that in line with this, the CBN had established the N220 billion Micro and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), among other schemes.
He called on all relevant stakeholders to collaborate and innovatively chart a new trajectory for economic diversification, growth and sustainability of MSMEs.
”As a proactive government, I assure you that we shall not relent in institutionalising policies that will enable the sustainability of MSMEs,” the governor said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)