By Adesina Wahab
FOR the nation’s economy to gear up and the level of poverty and unemployment to be brought down, serious attention must be paid to the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, MSMEs, speakers at the Second Lagos State University, LASU, Research Fair have said.
The speakers, who included the wife of the Lagos State Governor., Dr Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State, Dr Rabiu Olowo, the Vice Chancellor, LASU, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN, among others, said this on Tuesday.
Mrs Sanwo-Olu, who was the chairperson on the occasion, said taking advantage of the various opportunities in the MSMEs was a way for the young ones to escape from poverty and feel fulfilled in life.
This is just as Dr Olowo said the state government has supported over 11,000 small businesses with over N7 billion through its investment trust fund.
Mrs Sanwo-Olu, while commending the university for fair, added that small businesses were the engines of national economy.
“The theme of this year’s fair: “Innovation Products and Design For Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs),” is very appropriate at this time. In the global economy, there are indeed global brands and large conglomerates but they are not the engine rooms of national development. The catalysts of national development are the MSMEs which contribute as much as 48 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria.
“As part of measures to enhance profitability of MSMEs in line with the vision of the present administration of Mr Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Government launched its MSME hub and hosted the 5th Edition of the Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) Exclusive Fair. The fair was designed to equip the MSMEs with the survival strategies to beat the odds thrown up by the unanticipated and unexpected crisis brought about by Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN, said the idea of the fair arose out of the need to wake up the latent entrepreneurship ideas in the students and staff of the school.
He described MSMEs as the pillars of national economy.
Olowo, in his addresss, said for small businesses to grow, the promoters must do design thinking which should be customer-centred.
He also advised them to be ready to innovate, saying without that, they would not go far. The Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo, lauded the VC for his sterling performance in office.