By LOVETH AZODO, Lagos
No doubt, the Coronavirus pandemic has thrown myriads of challenges to the Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as opportunities for entrepreneurs to reinvent their processes, customer experience and how to meet the expectations of the public.
Nevertheless, the First Lady of Lagos state, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has assured MSMEs of Hope and availability of strategies to survive the Post COVID-19 era.
Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance during her address as the Chairperson of the 2nd Lagos State University (LASU) Research Fair held in Lagos with theme “Innovation Products and Design For Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs),”
According to the wife of the Lagos state Governor, the fair was designed to equip the MSMEs with the survival strategies to beat the odds thrown up by the unanticipated and unexpected crisis brought about by Covid-19 pandemic.
She opined that there is hope for youths to compete with the best with their small businesses
“There are many global brands in Nigeria but they are not the engine room of national productivity. The MSMEs are. This shows there is hope for our young people to go out there with their small businesses and compete with the best. There is hope to be more creative, innovative and do research. There is hope for you in Nigeria and we are depending on you.”
Making reference of the 2013 survey by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), she stated that In Lagos State, there are11,663 small scale enterprises representing 17 per cent, and 3, 224,324 micro-scale enterprises representing 8.7 percent, which are the highest in the country adding that female entrepreneurs accounted for 43.32 per cent of the ownership of micro-scale enterprises as against 22.75 per cent in the small-scale sector in the country.
“It is clear that any entrepreneurial activity towards improving the MSMEs sector will have a multiplier effect on job creation, security, income and wealth,” she said.
On the Choice of the theme, The Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Prof. Olarenwaju Fagbohun SAN, in his remarks revealed that as an institution that is responsive to the needs of its society and an incubator for research and technology, the institution decided to choose this theme so that it can contribute its quota to the advancement of MSMEs in Nigeria.
Fagbohun who commended the Lagos State First Lady for her support said “the choice of our Chairperson for today’s occasion is deliberate because of the remarkable things Her Excellency has been doing since assuming the position of first lady of Lagos State. She has been able to use the platform of COWLSO as its Chairperson, to strategically encourage and empower women to embrace new ideas and innovations to make them relevant in the developmental agenda of the present administration of Governor Babajide SANWO-OLU as captured in T.H.E.M.E.S.”
Also speaking, the Director, Directorate of Research Management, Prof. Olumuyiwa Odusanya said that the fair was scheduled outside the regular date due to the challenges of the covid 19 pandemic.
He said “The MSME sector employs over 80% of our workforce. Through this research fair, our university demonstrates it’s commitment to solving national problems and being valued partner to the state government.”