NASSI MSME Fair: Lagos reiterates support for small businesses

The Lagos State government has restated its commitment to supporting operators of small businesses in the state.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode gave the commitment in a key-note address at the opening ceremony of the Second National Association of Small Scale Industrialists – Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (2nd NASSI MSME Fair) hosted by NASSI Lagos State Chapter, in Alausa, Lagos, with the theme, “MSMEs As Catalyst to Nigeria’s Export Promotion Agenda”.

Ambode who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Commerce, Industries and Co-operative, Mr. Abisoye Olalekan Akodu, noted that his administration has started implementing intervention programmes aimed at enhancing the productivity of small business owners and make their products more globally competitive. He stated: “Let me assure you that we will not relent in our commitment towards improving the lot of small businesses operating Lagos State until their transformation from Micro to Large scale operators becomes seamless and feasible.”

Ambode further assured the industrialists: “The commitment of this administration to the MSME sector has been established through numerous friendly programmes and projects. Some of these include but not limited to the establishment of the Employment Trust Fund, the institutionalization of the Lagos State MSME Exclusive Trade Fair, establishment of a Light Industrial Park at Imota to provide work spaces for your members.”

The governor said his administration was committed to providing 3000mw of electricity to Lagosians, promising that the first 1000mw would be delivered before the end of the year to support MSMEs and make the State an industrial hub. “Though power is outside the remit of the State Government, my administration has however taken the bull by the horn towards providing 3,000 megawatts of electricity to good people of Lagos State through an embedded approach, the first 1,000mw is billed to be delivered before the end of this year.

This initiative will be benefitted mostly by industrialists generally; this is in recognition of the critical role of electricity in industrialization.” he declared. Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of NASSI, Mr. Segun Kuti-George, said that the Fair was organized in collaboration with the Lagos State government to create awareness and increased patronage of locally made goods and services not only within but outside Nigeria. “The goal of the Fair is to seize the opportunity of current realities of the need to diversify the nation’s economy by promoting made in Lagos products in particular and made in Nigeria products in general,” he said.





‘NASSI committed to SMEs’

The Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has restated its commitment to the growth and development of small and medium scale enterprises.
Giving this charge at the weekend was Mr. Segun Kuti-George, Chairman of NASSI, Lagos Chapter.He spoke at the official launch of the Lagos Island chapter of NASSI in Lagos.

Justifying the need for the new chapter, Kuti-George said: “This is something that we have been dreaming about for a long time. That is having chapters of NASSI all over Lagos state. Lagos is the commercial nerve center of the country with over 22 million people. About forty per cent of businesses in Nigeria are in Lagos. We have a big role to play here but all past efforts have not been yielding results.”

The NASSI boss while paying glowing tribute the team led by Ms Kemi Ilori, who according to him, finally made the launch possible. “They have put in their personal and corporate resources to ensure that we are able to do this today. The purpose is to be able to spread the tentacles of the association that represents the interest of kitchen micro and small and medium enterprises in Lagos state. The state has a minimum of 49 local government and LCDAs and it would not be too much for us if we have 49 chapters. However, I would say that it is always good to dream big but start small.”

While reiterating the agency’s commitment to small businesses, he said: “It is a regrettable that we are living in poverty in spite of the enormous resources available. I always tell people that Nigeria has no business with poverty.”


NASSI rallies support for export promotion through MSMEs

Citing the need to reduce dependence on importation of goods that can be substituted locally, the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has called for increased government support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in expanding the nation’s export capacity.
The body made the call at the weekend, preparatory to the second edition of its trade fair, themed, “MSMEs as catalyst to Nigeria’s export promotion agenda”, scheduled to commence tomorrow Thursday, May 17-20 at Adeyemi Dero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

According to the Chairman, Local Organising Committee and Chief Executive Officer, Getinuel Investment Limited, Getrude Akhimien, the fair is designed to assist in the creation of market for MSME products both locally and internationally.

She explained that the fair seeks to seize the opportunity of current realities of the need to diversify the nation’s economy by promoting made-in-Lagos products in particular and those manufactured in the country in general.

“Many of the entrepreneurs we are showcasing are women. Women are natural entrepreneurs; they need to be encouraged so that they can improve their production capacity for commercial enterprise. This year, we have at least 100 members who have indicated interest in participating at the fair”.

“Through the awareness that the fair will create, there shall be increased patronage of locally-made goods and services. This will result in business expansion; boost the local economy; save foreign exchange through less dependence on foreign products as well as earn more income; and generate employment for the teeming youth population”, she added.

On his part, NASSI’s Lagos Chairman, Segun Kuti-George, noted that there are several substitutes for many products being imported, adding that businesses only need to look inwards and take advantage of available local resources.

“This fair will improve exposure of products to both local and foreign consumers. We need to realise that the potential income from oil economy will nose-dive and prepare by looking at the non-oil sector. MSMEs are good drivers of non-oil export agenda. We only need to develop their capacity for growth.