Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, emphasised what she called the great role of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises(MSMEs) sector to the national development, describing it as an engine room of the economy.
She made this remarks at the second edition of Lagos State University(LASU), Ojo, research fair held on campus and connected virtually via Zoom and some other social platforms.
The fair, which Mrs Sanwo-Olu chaired and themed “Innovative products and designs for micro, small and medium scale enterprises,” was attended by academia, students, business owners and government functionaries.
Mrs Sanwo-Olu said the MSMEs sector along with a significant number of women as operators and across many fields of endeavours contributed up to 48 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products.
She said these operators were known to be working hard against all odds to provide for their families and also contribute to the larger economy.
She said that was why the Lagos State government is given due attention to the sector by coming up with various measures to make it more profitable.
According to her, there are 11,663 small scale enterprises(representing 17 per cent) and 3, 224,324 micro-scale enterprises(representing 8.7 per cent) of total enterprises in Lagos State and these are the highest in the country.
“So, whatever we do to improve MSMEs in Lagos State will certainly have a huge impact on the entire country as it will lead to more jobs, more incomes, more wealth, better security and conditions of living, ” she pointed out.
While commending LASU for organising the research fair, Mrs Sanwo-Olu also urged the university to engage more with the industry, impart skills and conduct research aimed at helping the MSMEs in the country.
The sector, according to her, requires innovative solutions and services as well as new ways of working and newer products to enable them to meet peoples’ needs, make more money and grow the GDP of the country.
She said the government had great hope in the youth and asked them to be more creative and make positive impacts in whatever professions they choose.
On his part, the keynote speaker and state Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, reinforced the importance and contribution of MSMEs to Lagos State economy, saying it is the biggest in the country followed by Kano State.
He said what operators of the sector would need to do so as to make more money and impacts was to be more innovative on their ventures and make them customers’ centres.
He also asked them to embrace technology in whatever line of business they are into, saying that is a new normal globally.
He disclosed that the Lagos State government supported the MSMEs sector with N7 billion and also in many ways creating enabling environment for operators to thrive.
He, however, urged universities to do more researches and ensure they produce students who would be wealth creators and problems-solvers and not job seekers.
Speaking earlier, Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun,said the essence of the annual research fair was to showcase various research activities that are already impacting the society and also come up with new ideas, discuss them and network with a view to finding ways of turning them into more profits.
He said LASU as an institution believes so much in the fair as its own way of contributing meaningfully to the country’s economy.
He said the university would continue to give research and entrepreneurial skills top priority and also produce graduates for global market.
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