Business Expansion: Sanwo-Olu canvasses low interest rate for MSMEs

The governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has canvassed low interest rate for Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu said low interest rate allow them access financial support and thrive in their respective businesses.

The governor spoke at the celebration of International Women’s Day in Ikeja, with the theme “Economic Inclusion of Women Entrepreneurs (NANOs/MSMEs) at the Grassroots/Community Level”.

Sanwo-Olu said only loans with single-digit interest rates can help unlock the growth of small businesses, saying micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) create the most jobs and that they should be supported with low-interest funds to enable them to do more.

According to him, Lagos State will ensure more women are brought into the net of the state’s empowerment programmes that will allow women to contribute to the growing economy.

The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said the state is paying attention to women empowerment and has upscaled its efforts to ensure provision of capital, training and network necessary to grow their businesses.

He said that the event was designed to offer a financing platform, training on digital marketing and skills, financial inclusion as well as presenting free Point of Sales Machines (POS) to enhance their businesses and other gifts from Lotus Bank.

“Today, as we look to the future, we are committed to building on these foundations with even greater enthusiasm. Our focus is on leveraging technology to create more accessible platforms for women entrepreneurs, especially at the grassroots level. This is one of the reasons why we embarked on the Six Thousand Kilometer Fiber Duct Infrastructure Project. The first phase, which is three thousand kilometers, is nearing completion.

“My charge to the Ministry and our technical partners; Banks is to lower the interest rate on this category of women, so that it is not this twenty-five percent that will be killing. We must look at how to ensure that the loans are not as prohibitive as for normal commercial enterprises, because these are like Mini and Micro businesses.

“With this project, we envision a Lagos where every woman entrepreneur, regardless of her location or the size of her business, has access to internet and data resources needed to grow and succeed. The project will complement the digital literacy programs and e-commerce platforms tailored for women-owned enterprises, ensuring that the digital economy becomes a vast field of opportunities for all.”

He enjoined entrepreneurs at the Grassroots and Community level, to recommit themselves to the growth and development of women-owned businesses, advising them to harness the opportunity to access all necessary support to thrive and fulfill their potential.

In her remarks, the President Women Entrepreneurs and Professional Development Network (WEPDN) Mrs. Affi Israel Ibanga, said the strategic conference was designed to development stride in the state, saying it will help to facilitate women inclusion at the community level where many of the women reside.

‘’It is my ardent desire that this programme will help our young ones, especially women off the streets for productive ventures. It is aimed at given the women an opportunity to negotiate their livelihood on their very own terms,’’ she said

Ibanga said the collaboration between Lagos State Ministry of Commerce , Cooperative , Trade and Investment and Women Entrepreneur and Professionals Development Network (WEPON) is to provide a platform to promote women businesses , access to market , international exposure and opportunity to exhibit their innovative ideas, product and services.

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