Lagos disburses N5.3billion to 6,000 SMEs

In a bid to empower Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state, the Lagos State Government has disburse over N5.3billion to over 6,000 beneficiaries in Lagos, who are at different stages of executing their business plans.

The State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Dr. Yakub Olajide Basorun, disclosed this during Lagos Small Business summit held recently.

He said the State Government had committed to providing beneficiaries with the necessary support in the areas of management, entrepreneurial skill, basic principles of business management, and technical support, noting that challenges faced by SMEs do not start and end with access to credit facilities.

“We established a board comprising mostly experienced people from the private sector, to manage the process of identifying beneficiaries, disbursing of fund as well as giving technical support necessary for the success of business enterprises. The responses show that the young people in terms of initiative and the number of business proposals we see have been encouraging, and shows their willingness to take advantage of the opportunity given,” he added.

He further said this year’s theme, “Creating Exponential Institutions: How government and small business can keep up with the market” is very apt as it underscores the need for effective partnership between government through its institution and SMEs stakeholders.

According to him, this present administration will continue to strive in providing solutions to the challenges affecting the operation of MSMEs in the state, as established in the Ministry aimed at enhancing their capacities and maximise their contributions to economic growth and development.

He explained that the Employment Trust Fund is primary set up to address the challenges of lack of access to funding, and to ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of SMEs.

He said Lagos has lot of business opportunities with a population of over 20 million people, whom he said are noted for high level resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills.

Similarly, a former Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Austin Tam-George, has emphasized the need for SMEs to engage in self-empowerment to eliminate poverty in Nigeria.

He blamed the government for deliberately impoverishing citizens by depriving them of their right to basic amenities.

Tam-George argued that when people are more concerned about how to pay rent, school fees, and how to feed; they will be more concerned of the basic need of life and won’t ask if there is transparency in government.

“The more people prosper, the more they will be able to ask the government; why are you running this type of government? Why are our politicians flying in jets while some people don’t have water to drink? The more people are financially independent, the more they are able to ask the critical question,” he said

He decried the absence of the middle class, adding that Nigeria consists of people who are either too poor to speak out or too rich to care.

He however called on SMEs to empower themselves, adding that the most sustainable form of empowerment is not from the government but self-empowerment.



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