LASG, BOI launch N1bn funding initiative for NMSMEs

The Lagos State Government and the Bank of Industry (BOI) have launched a matched production and trade funding initiative worth N1 billion each to support Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NMSMEs) with exportable products.

Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade & Investment, Folashade Ambrose Medebem stated this while giving the report of her Ministry at the ongoing Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the first year, second term, of Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu’s administration at Alausa, Ikeja yesterday.

According to the Commissioner, this funding will provide much-needed support to NMSMEs in the state, enabling them to grow and compete globally.

“This is a bold move to internationalise and empower our NMSMEs to grow their productive ventures, bolster regional and global trade and increase the State’s contribution to the nation’s non oil export. The funding will complement our current engagement with the Nigerian Arabian Gulf Chamber of Commerce (NAGCC) to facilitate agricultural products and value chain to the six Gulf States through the Nigerian Trade House in Dubai,” she stated.

She also said the State attracted over fifty billion naira in investment through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Domestic Direct Investment (DDI) in the last one year.

According to the Commissioner, the new multi billion naira investments, one of which is the Twinings Ovaltine Nigeria Limited (TONL), owned by the Associated British Foods Plc, would expand the State’s productive base, generate employment and improve its economy.

In her words, “TONL, which formerly imports from China and packages into retail units here, has now committed to fully manufacture its products in Lagos with the acquisition of an industrial site in Ogba. The N38 billion valued investment will employ one hundred and twelve people directly and over two hundred others as distributors by 2025, while generating over $8million in exports to West African countries.

“Other investors in healthcare, retail, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), education, financial services, cybersecurity, agriculture and manufacturing are also coming into Lagos, while many Trade Missions have gone from Lagos to the United Kingdom (UK) with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and Business Membership Organisations (BMOs) to explore new trade opportunities.

“Our participation in investment and business summits across the world actively seeks to retain and bring investment opportunities available in the State to the attention of potential investors, with the aim to attract capital, skills, innovation and technology to create more local jobs, increase productivity and generate higher revenue.”

Ambrose Medebem expressed that the state, in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S+ Development Agenda, remains committed to formulating enabling and supporting policies, executing infrastructure intervention, and designing trade expansion programmes and projects to accelerate the economic development of the State, noting that the Sanwo-Olu administration is leaving no stone unturned at improving the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in the State.

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