The Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye has described the entrepreneurs and operators of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) as catalysts of socio-economic change. According to her, they are responsible for employment generation, wealth creation, value addition, innovation, income generation and growth of the state. The Commissioner stated this recently, at the 2018 World MSME day that was set aside by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s Resolution of 6, April 2017, to recognise the roles of MSMEs in global economic development. She said the sub-sector, which is predominantly made up of an active women and youth population, was responsible for improved livelihoods, communities and economies globally.
Speaking on the theme for this year’s celebration, “The Youth Dimension”, the Commissioner said more advocacies would be raised about the importance of MSMEs in youth employment; youth entrepreneurship, as well as youth employability skill development.“The Lagos State Government, as a proactive pace-setter and responsible stakeholder in MSME development, aligns with this year’s theme and will continue, more than ever before to promote skill development amongst young entrepreneurs towards preparing them adequately for the future; while fostering an enabling business environment for entrepreneurship to thrive.” She stated. The Commissioner also said the present administration had been driving MSME development consciously through initiation and implementation of policies that create and foster a positive business environment; enhance technical and non-technical entrepreneurial skills; and improve access to networks and financial services.
She listed some of the few remarkable interventions by the state government in recent years to include the establishment of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, that provides loans to MSMES at a five per cent interest rate spread over four years; the Lagos State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Exclusive Fair that provides market access, business support, investment-matching and networking platforms freely for exclusively Made-in-Lagos products and services; and the on-going construction of the Imota Light Industrial Estate, Ikorodu aimed at providing workspace and business accommodation for small-scale industrialists in the State. These initiatives and many others according to her, have enhanced the capacity, visibility and mileage of most indigenous MSMEs with verifiable outcomes such as newer jobs, more virile start-us, improved standards of living and quality of lives, more competitive locally made products and services, newer networks and investment inflow, and of course, improved Gross Domestic Products not only for our State, but Nigeria as a whole.