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NASSI partners Lagos State Government upcoming Trade Fair

The National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has identified some challenges facing Small, Medium Enterprises, SMEs, leading to their underperformance in the country,including, poor social infrastructure like roads, electricity; insecurity and high mortality rate.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Ikeja, Lagos, the group said it was poised to change the narratives through the forthcoming Trade Fair which would be organised in collaboration with the Lagos State government and the support of notable organisations in the country.
Other constraints identified are, inadequate funds, multiple taxation and poor accessibility to both local and international markets.
This is as the sector is said to be contributing significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
Mr. Peter Popola, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, NASSI , organisers of the fair, which is in its 6th edition, said the fair would witness activities like exhibitions, training, symposium, among other programmes.
He said, the fair, with the theme: ‘The indispensable role of MSMEs in the quest for Nigeria’s industrialisation’, would draw industrialists, youths, women, among others.
Popoola, added the three-day programme, holding between May 9th -13th , at the Digital Bridge Institute( NITEL Training School, Ilupeju area of Lagos State, described NASSI as aiming at promoting small-scale businesses, industrial self-reliance, hospitality and other services, and enhancing capacity building among its members.
He said, the actor is a major contributor to the economy, especially through job creation, provision of essential goods/services; and called for government’s support to move the sector forward.
Popola said: “I can confidently tell you that SMEs contribute not les than 48 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP, while 96 per cent of businessrs in Nigeria are run by SMEs.”
The Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Lagos State, who was represnted by Mrs. Adesina Helen Titilayo, said the state government appreciated SMEs and was ready to support them.
She added that it was for that reason the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recently harmonised taxes in the state to relief businesses of double taxation.
Other important dignataries at the event, included the Chairman, NASSI, Lagos, Mrs Getrude Akhimien, reprentatives of support organisations like Bank of Industry, SMEDA,N, GIZ GOKA, among others.

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200 exhibitors for NASSI fair

To provide awareness for its members’ products, the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), MSMEs, Lagos chapter is set to hold its sixth trade fair.

The event, billed for the Digital Institute, Oshodi, according to the association’s Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), Peter Popoola, has 200 exhibitors registered.

He noted that small scale industries were the backbone of an economy, especially Nigeria’s where they made up over 80 per cent of it and contribute significantly to its gross domestic product as well as provide jobs.

Popoola, who is also NASSI’s Vice Chairman, said the group’s members faced a lot of challenges such as lack of patronage, poor power supply and access to finance.

NASSI Lagos Chairman Mrs. Getrude Aikhimien said the government, as the biggest spender, should assist its members by buying their goods. She, however, thanked the Lagos State Government for its assistance over the years and for sponsoring the fair.

She noted that SMES were the backbone of the economy and that if they were not selling their products, it would have a spiral effect on the eceonomy. She listed the benefits of the fair as: more patronage, free training and access to funds. She appealed to hotel owners and other big businesses to partner NASSI members.

She added the symposium and training at the fair were free for participants.
At the event were Director of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Lagos State, Mrs Titilayo Adesina, who represented the commissioner; Manager, Lagos, Bank of Industry, Uche Nwachukwu, SMEDAN DG representative, Mr Bunmi Dawodu and Ismael Lawal of GIZ GOPA. Mrs Adesina pledged the government’s commitment to the fair. She noted its assistance to the group over the years.

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Blame Naira depreciation on non-patronage of MSMEs –Industrialist

An industrialist, Mr Peter Popoola, has blamed the continuous slide of the Naira on the lingering refusal of many Nigerians to patronise the local Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in preference for imported items.

According to Popoola, the Vice Chairman of Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) Lagos Chapter, who stated this while fielding questions on the forthcoming 6th NASSI (MSMES) Trade Fair, which comes up next Monday, May 13, to Friday , May 13, “from 1990 till now, thousands of MSMEs have closed shop due to low patronage. Many Nigerians , particularly, the middle and high classes, don’t so much patronise Made-in-Nigeria goods. They prefer the imported goods. When we get foreign exchange (forex), we don’t benefit much from it because they (some beneficiaries) redirect it outside the country. That is why you see the Naira collapsing everyday”, he reasoned.

Popoola lamented that non-patronage of the MSMEs is the root cause of unemployment in the country.
His words: “The purchasing power of Nigerian consumers is very low. Some local goods have NAFDAC, SON certification, yet some people would not buy them. But unknown to them, they are creating unemployment in the country; they are killing Nigerian industries and building the foreign ones that produce the foreign goods. And it is still the same set of people that would say: there is no employment in the country. So where the employment will come from? Those who invested in the economy now are not getting returns on their investments. They borrow money, they can’t repay because they are not selling their products. If you have factories; if you have industries, before you can make headway, you need to mass produce. You borrow money, you start to buy machines; produce en masse. And now you are not selling. Up till yesterday, I still got calls from people who said they have closed down their factories and they didn’t know what next to do again. One of the reasons they are closing down is because of poor patronage from fellow Nigerians. . Let’s redirect our reasons for purchasing, let’s buy made-in-Nigeria goods”

On the reason for the NASSI Trade Fair, organised in conjunction with the Lagos State government, Popoola said these MSMEs do not have money to market their goods “because marketing is expensive. They can’t even attend international exhibition. Participation in international exhibition is also expensive. The trade fair is to expose our members’ products to the market. You all know that sale is the blood of every business,” he added.

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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.

 

 

 

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‘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.”

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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.

 

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