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Lagos pledges continuous support for SMEs

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Lagos pledges continuous support for SMEs

The Lagos State Government says it will continue to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state, particularly players in the agribusiness sector.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, gave the assurance at the flag-off of the fourth edition of the ministry’s Entrepreneurship Development Institute  (EDI) Training in Lagos.

Olusanya was represented at the occasion by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Hakeem Adeniji.

The commissioner said that the support was necessary because of the huge contributions of the SMEs to the state’s Gross Domestic Product  (GDP) as well as the need for them to create more values in the agriculture space.

“I will like to assure you of the constant support of Mr Governor to all SMEs in the state, particularly players within agribusiness space.

“He is aware of your immense contributions to the state’s GDP and will like to see you create more value in agriculture.

“I want to congratulate you for having been selected for this training that would propel you toward your financial empowerment.

“Specifically, I charge you all, particularly, participants from the Lagos Agricprenuership Programme (LAP), to appreciate the resources Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration is investing in you,” the official said.

According to the commissioner, there are many cravings for such opportunities.

“  I will not want you to take all these for granted.

“Remember: to whom much is given, much is expected,” the commissioner said.

Olusanya described the Entrepreneurship Development Institute as a window for pre-qualification of micro, small and medium enterprises toward accessing funds dedicated by the Federal Government for the growth of small businesses.

She highlighted one of such funds as the Agricultural Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), which is an initiative of the Bankers’ Committee.

“The fund is being managed by the CBN in a bid to support and complement the government’s efforts at promoting small and medium agri-businesses as a vehicle for sustainable economic development and employment generation,” she said.

The commissioner described the  ministry of agriculture Entrepreneurship Development Institute as one of the few accredited EDIs in Nigeria.

Olusanya said the institute’s curriculum had been designed to cut across all functional business areas and agricultural value chains, with a main focus on guiding participants to navigate through the AGSMEIS loan portal.

“Since inception, four cohorts have been trained, which translate to a total of 139 trained applicants: 61 independent applicants and 78 Lagos Agripreneurship Programme-sponsored applicants.

“As you may be aware, the Entrepreneurship Development Institute is a CBN-accredited centre for the development of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial capabilities among Nigerians.

“The institute is expected to provide tools, techniques and framework for managing all functional areas of a business enterprise, including production, marketing, personnel and finance,” the commissioner said. (NAN)

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