The Lagos State government has invested N103 billion in providing infrastructure to provide downstream contracts to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said on Tuesday.
The governor made the disclosure at the 6th edition of Lagos State Exclusive MSMEs Fair held in Ikeja.
The theme of the fair was: “Effect of COVID-19: Charting the Way Forward for MSMEs”.
Represented by Secretary of State Government (SSG) Ms Folashade Jaji, Sanwo-Olu said the state government is passionately committed to the growth of small businesses.
He said the state government recognizes the role of MSMEs in economic empowerment and their central place in the social and economic development of the state.
According to him, everyone has a collective responsibility to ensure that MSMEs successfully overcome the economic and growth challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the past two years, we have committed significant resources to the sustainability of MSMEs, but the pandemic has further underscored the need for the public and private sectors to meticulously develop the capacity for growth and profitability of our MSMEs.
“So this is one of the main reasons why small businesses can still count on the Lagos State government to provide the necessary support for trade promotion and business development.
“We have extended the 60-day tax filing deadline and 90-day loan moratorium to alleviate MSME working capital problems.
“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 ensuring that small businesses are technically and financially empowered to generate sustainable wealth,” he said.
The governor said that over the past year his administration has put in place important interventions to strengthen the business capacity of MSMEs in the state.
According to him, the aim 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 the government was working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to resolve the issue of access to finance for MSMEs.
Sanwo-Olu said that in accordance with this, the CBN established the 220 billion naira Micro and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF), among other programmes.
He called on all relevant stakeholders to collaborate and innovatively chart a new course for economic diversification, growth and sustainability of MSMEs.
“As a proactive government, I assure you that we will not stop institutionalizing policies that will enable the sustainability of MSMEs,” said the governor. (NAN)