MSMEs key to economic diversification-Ambode

Lagos State  Governor Akinwunmi Ambode  on Sunday called  for an economic  diversification agenda driven by  the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector.

Ambode during the Lagos State Special Day at the ongoing 30th Lagos International Trade Fair stated that the MSME sector is a goldmine that is yet to be fully harnessed.

The governor expressed his administration’s commitment to the growth and sustenance of the sector as a catalyst in the development of the non-oil sector in the state, as well as in the nation.

He reiterated that the Lagos government South west Nigeria  would open market access for MSMEs and improve the ease of doing business in the state.

Ambode said that he had signed the property protection law that prohibited the activities of land grabbers in the state.

According to him, government has made giant strides towards improved infrastructure, transportation and security, so as to boost business activities.

He said that the state’s technical committee had been inaugurated, adding that it is working hard to implement  the power component of the “Light-Up Lagos” project.

“Captive power has received a boost with the Light-Up Lagos project, to support a 24/7 economy,’’ he added.

The Special Adviser, Overseas Affairs and Investment, Prof. Ademola Abass, said that the state was recently rated as the fifth largest economy in Africa by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to him, the rating connotes that the state’s economy is bigger than the economy of over 40 African countries.

He said that government was taking pragmatic and deliberate steps towards addressing shortcomings in the state, so as to inspire investors’ confidence across the globe.

Mrs Nike Akande, President, LCCI, said that the peculiarity of Lagos as the commercial hub that hosts many industries justifies the need to tackle the challenges of urbanisation.

According to her, statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveal that the state generated the highest revenue amongst states in the country in recent times.

“With an estimated population of 21 million as at January 2015 and a growth rate of 3.2 per cent, it is projected to have a population of over 30 million and a GDP of $355 billion by 2025.

“These figures present Lagos as a state of endless opportunities,” she noted.

The LCCI president called for a conducive business environment that will enable the Private Sector to thrive, while boosting production capacity, job creation and poverty alleviation.