EMWA 2023: Lagos Government Woos Development Partners For SME Hubs
Lagos State government says it is ready to receive partners for the development of more small and medium-scale industrial hubs in various parts of the state within the available enterprise zones.
Adetutu Ososanya, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Cooperatives of the state, spoke at the 2023 edition of the Equipment and Manufacturing West Africa (EMWA) stakeholders’ meeting on Wednesday in Lagos.
The event, organised in collaboration with the Nigerian-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI), was themed, ‘Reigniting Manufacturing to Drive Economic Growth and Development’.
Ososanya said Lagos would continue improving its economic policy coordination and implementation, encourage partnership and collaboration between the public and private sectors, and prioritise labour to promote investments in the state.
She said the state, through the Ministry of Commerce, industry, and Cooperatives and sister MDAs, was also facilitating the support of multilateral partners and agencies for the micro small, and medium enterprises (MSME) for increased economic production and export.
This, she said, would further boost their production capacity, create employment, generate more income, lead to an appreciable reduction in poverty, and increase the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“As the industrial, commercial, and economic capital of Nigeria, Lagos state, under the energetic leadership of Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is committed to ensuring the sustainability and further growth of the state’s industrial sector,” Ososanya said.
“The administration is not giving up on its quest to build a globally competitive economy, in fact, it is putting its skin into it.
“Of recent, the state is paying more attention to its industrial estates, hubs, and enterprise zones to support and strengthen the operations of MSMEs, which are the backbone and bedrock of sustainable development in most global economies.
“In addition to the ongoing reorganisation of the state’s existing small-scale industrial estates that are situated in various commercial axis of the state; it is also working at the completion of the ongoing one situated at Imota area and this is near completion stage.
“The government is also open to receiving development partners who are willing to partner with government in the development of more small and medium-sized industrial hubs in various parts of the states within the available enterprise zones.”
Ososanya, addressing the theme of the event, said the topic was very relevant to the country’s quest for economic recovery and national growth.
She noted that for a long time, Nigeria’s domestic productive capabilities were neglected in favour of imports, knowing fully well that vibrant manufacturing activity and volume of export was relevant to the development of the economy.
“The time for the Nigerian government and Nigerians to support and further develop the manufacturing potentials of our nation bearing in mind that we are blessed with a very vibrant, and dynamic population and resources is now.
“Therefore, many of our challenges today, whether relating to poverty, unemployment, or underemployment, to mention but a few, are rooted in the fact that we have not been able to domesticate the production of our most basic needs.
“There is no doubt that the only way to drive sustainable economic growth and development is to reignite the manufacturing sector.
“Manufacturing opens up employment opportunities, supports agriculture, diversifies the economy, and increases the country’s foreign exchange earnings to mention few.
“Hence, the need to instigate forward movement in the sector through cutting-edge technology, effective and efficient production processes and management, and a vibrant skilled and unskilled workforce amongst others,” she said.
Ososanya also commended the treasured role of the organized private sector in ensuring that the manufacturing sector continues to thrive in spite of the harsh operating environment.
She assured that the Lagos State Government would continue to evolve sound policies to provide the much-needed roadmap and support for the journey to economic recovery and prosperity.
Joseph Oru, managing director, of Zenith Exhibition (the organisers of EMWA), said the manufacturing sector remains the catalyst for the growth and development of any nation.
Oru described the conference as a platform where expertise and knowledge could be shared.
According to him, the conference also serves as a testament to the ingenuity, innovation, and transformative power of the manufacturing sector.
He said EMWA 2023 was also a training environment for manufacturing staff and a dynamic hub where cutting-edge technologies, revolutionary processes, and visionary minds converge and forge fruitful collaborations.
“All these come together to serve as a catalyst for innovation, partnerships, and the collective advancement of the manufacturing and industrial sector,” Oru said.