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LASG to formalise SMEs for growth — Deputy Governor

The Lagos State Government says it will help formalize Small and Media Enterprises (SME) in the state in order to attract desirable investment into the businesses.

The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said this at 4th FATE Foundation annual alumni conference with the theme, “Innovating for Scale’’, on Wednesday in Lagos.

Hamzat said that most of the SMEs were not well-structured enough to attract the desirable investment and management.

“What the state government intends to do is to create a title for every business owner which will allow them to have property that can be collaterised.

“Our challenge is how to formalise the SMEs. It is important that we have a database in order to formalise them. If a business is not well-structured it will fail,” the deputy governor said.

He said that 85 per cent of businesses in Lagos were in private hands, adding that a well-structured business should be transparent and registered.

Hamzat said that SMEs were important to the building of the state’s economy, adding that support to the sector would engender prosperous economy.

“What we need is that we must grow our market and scale up our economy.

“Business owners must be hardworking and have integrity to sustain their businesses. You must innovate in order to meet the needs of your customers.

“By innovation, entrepreneurs should offer things that are unique as these will allow the promotion of the business.

“As a state government, we will be more aggressive in funding SMEs and help in giving out soft loans,’’ the deputy governor said.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Slot System Ltd. Mr Nnamdi Ezeigbo, said that every business must have a planned strategy and vision.

“Starting a business in Nigeria is a messy affair, because the environment is not friendly, therefore every business must have a strategic plan.

“Businesses must be reputable for it to expand and it must align with the Nigerian culture. You cannot scale up if you don’t have people with the same idea with you.

“SMEs should protect their strategy, ensure that their barriers are high and also leverage on technology to increase and expand their business,’’ Ezeigbo said.

He advised businesses to hire those that they need not those that are available.

He also urged the state government to be more sensitive to the plight of the SMEs and involve stakeholders as part of policy making.

Fate Foundation is a non-profit private sector organisation established in 2000 to tackle the high rate of unemployment and poverty among young people in Nigeria.

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