Aspiring Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the fashion industry will have the opportunity of bringing their dreams to life as the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu over the weekend commissioned the Eko MSME Fashion Hub-1 in Lagos.
Speaking during the official commissioning of Eko MSME Fashion Hub-1 in Ikeja, Lagos State, Prof. Osinbajo and Sanwo-Olu said governments at federal and state levels remain committed to promoting and developing small businesses, especially in the areas of skill acquisition.
The MSME Fashion Hub-1, which is under the National MSME Clinic Scheme is expected to serve 380 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises daily.
Prof. Osinbajo, who joined the commissioning ceremony virtually from Abuja, reiterated the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of MSME during and post COVID-19.
The Vice President who promised to provide two additional MSME Fashion hubs to serve Lagos Central and Lagos East senatorial districts as requested by Governor Sanwo-Olu said the fashion industry is going to be one of Nigeria’s greatest sources of revenue, bigger than oil in the nearest future.
According to him: “MSMEs are the engine for Nigeria’s economy because when they thrive, the country thrives and when they struggle, the country struggles. This is why the Federal Government is committed to creating a conducive environment for MSME to do exceedingly well.”
Osinbajo also charged other state governments and the Organised Private Sector to emulate initiatives that would engender the development of MSME across the country.
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, and Cooperatives, Dr. Lola Akande said the Eko MSME Fashion Hub-1, which is the first phase of the shared MSME Fashion facility, is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery such as industrial button-hole machines. She added that the facility would also enhance the productivity of quality apparel capable of competing favourably globally.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, in his address, said Lagos State is committed to ensuring that MSMEs in the State has the necessary leverage for the generation of lasting wealth, noting that they have an indispensable role to play in the growth and sustainability of Lagos State economy and any other economy.
He also acknowledged the contribution of the Organised Private Sector, especially Access Bank led by Mr. Herbert Wigwe, who has partnered both Office of the Vice President and Lagos State, as well as other various Federal Government agencies that have collaborated to make the National MSMEs clinics a success.
In his word: “The success of MSMEs in Lagos State translates to the success of small businesses across the entire sub-Saharan of Africa and Africa as a whole. This shared facility that we are commissioning today and we are handing over to the community today is certainly a step in the right direction. It is a win-win situation for everybody as it shows our progressive dedication to the eradication of poverty and the economic emancipation of our people.
The governor further noted: “The destiny of several Lagosians is about to positively change because of this facility. This is the beginning of many victories over unemployment and poverty that we are passing on to our citizens.”
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, said the shared facility would provide a conducive environment for the SME space.
Amb. Katagum, who said that the initiative was one of the key takeaways of the MSME clinic chaired by the Vice President, said shared facilities were effective tools that could address infrastructure challenges which had hindered the growth of SMEs.
She also commended the Lagos State Government for the laudable initiative, particularly at this time when support for SMEs was critical amid the pandemic.