Lagos Int’l Trade Fair: Tinubu pledges support to unlock MSME potentials


President Bola Tinubu says his administration is committed to providing the necessary support for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to unlock their full potential and ensure their long-term success.


Tinubu said this at the 2023 Edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF), organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Friday in Lagos.


The event has its theme as, “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value”.


He was represented by Mrs Lucia Shittu, Chief Executive Officer, Tafawa Balewa Square Management Board (TBSMB).


Recognising the vital role that MSMEs play in the Nigerian economy, Tinubu stressed the government’s responsibility to support these businesses, considering that they are the lifeblood of economic prosperity.


“It is our duty to provide them with the necessary support and resources they need to flourish.


“We would continue to create policies, provide access to finance and capacity building initiatives that will empower these enterprises to reach new heights of success,” he said.


Tinubu, however, emphasised the need for MSMEs to embrace technology, innovation and adapt to evolving consumer demands.


By doing so, he said, Nigerian MSMEs would be better positioned not just as participants in the global marketplace, but as leaders and innovators, setting the pace for others to follow.


“Let us forge ahead, with determination, resilience, and a shared vision for a Nigeria that stands tall on the world stage,” he said.


In his remarks, Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu, said the event’s theme showed the importance of businesses connecting, knowing fully well that no business organisation could survive on its own.


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Sanwo-olu was represented by Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Mrs Folashade Ambrose-Medem.


He said the fair provided another huge 10-day window for businesses to showcase their products and services, gain great marketing mileage and fresh opportunity for networking with other businesses.


According to him, the platform is timely, very strategic, and transformative as it will further build the investment ecosystems to support more competitive investment opportunities in Nigeria.


The governor noted that while some would describe the youth’s population as a challenge to be managed; he called it a great potential to be unleashed in the state and nation at large.


He said there was need for a different approach to attract potential investors, both in Lagos and across the country


“I want to reassure you that the Lagos State Government would continue to be your partner in progress towards ensuring conducive business environment for investments to thrive in the state.


“We are very much aware that our quest to move Lagos, our dear state, from Nigeria’s biggest commercial city to become a mega or smart city, running on 21st Century economic dynamics, will depend, to a large extent, on our political will to effectively tackle various challenges confronting businesses.


“For us, we see the challenges as great opportunities for further investment and our administration is not only working assiduously to change the narratives, we are also ready to work with willing investors.


“This will help to expand the infrastructure for the benefit of our businesses in particular, our state and nation in general,” he said.


Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, President, LCCI, said the Fair has, over the years, grown to be another significant milestone in the economic life of Nigeria and the broader African continent.


Olawale-Cole said Lagos, Africa’s fifth largest economy, finds itself at another critical juncture in Nigeria’s economic history, facing substantial challenges while holding immense potential for growth and prosperity.


He said the year’s theme; “Navigating Economic Challenges”, underscored the determination of the Nigerian business community to overcome its many hurdles of existence, survival, and growth.


“Nigeria’s economy, like many others, has been impacted by global economic shocks and geopolitical uncertainties.


“It calls upon us to acknowledge the difficulties we face while inspiring us to seek solutions, embrace new opportunities, and develop innovative strategies to foster economic growth.


“In spite of these challenges, we stand here today, showcasing the resilience of our people and our unwavering commitment to progress.


“We stand on the threshold of change, as Nigeria and Lagos State work tirelessly to diversify their economies, reduce dependency on oil, and pave the way for inclusive growth.


“Let us rise to the occasion, harness the power of innovation, and work together to forge a path to prosperity as we look at the challenges and focus on the immense possibilities that lie ahead,” he said. (NAN)

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