By Oziegbe Okoeki
The Federal and Lagos state governments have reaffirmed their commitment to promoting and developing small scale businesses, especially in the areas of skill acquisition.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance on Friday at the commissioning of the Eko Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Fashion Hub-1 in Lagos.
The MSME Fashion Hub-1, which is expected to serve 380 Small and Medium Enterprises daily is a shared facility in Lagos State under the National MSME Clinic Scheme and is situated around Alade Market, off popular Allen Avenue in Ikeja Local Government Area of the State.
Osinbajo who joined the commissioning ceremony virtually from Abuja, reiterated the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of MSME during and post COVID-19. The Vice President, who promised to provide two additional MSME Fashion hubs to serve Lagos Central and Lagos East senatorial districts as requested by Governor Sanwo-Olu, said the fashion industry is going to be one of Nigeria’s greatest sources of revenue, bigger than oil in the nearest future.
Osinbajo also charged other state governments and the Organised Private Sector to emulate initiatives that would engender the development of MSME across the country.
In his address, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State is committed to ensuring that micro, small and medium enterprises in the State have the necessary leverage for the generation of lasting wealth, noting that they have an indispensable role to play in the growth and sustainability of Lagos State economy and any other economy. He also acknowledged the contribution of the Organised Private Sector, especially Access Bank led by Mr. Herbert Wigwe, who have partnered both Office of the Vice President and Lagos State, as well as other various Federal Government agencies that have collaborated to make the National MSMEs clinics a success.
He said: “This fully equipped shared facility is a demonstration of our APC-led government’s people-driven agenda. Our ultimate goal is to make life better for our people. We have selfless service as a rare privilege as well as an opportunity to leave a legacy of prosperity for our teeming population.” Sanwo-Olu appealed to the Vice President to work with Lagos State to replicate the Shared Facility Scheme in the senatorial districts. Also speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, said the shared facility would provide a conducive environment for the SME space.
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. Lola Akande said the Eko MSME Fashion Hub-1, which was the first phase of the shared MSME Fashion facility, was equipped with state-of-the-art machinery such as industrial button-hole machines.
The Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, who acknowledged the outstanding growth of the Nigerian fashion industry, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to grow the nation’s fashion industry. “We will continue to partner with the fashion industry, because we believe it would boost local growth of SMEs in that space,” he said.
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