President Muhammadu Buhari has declared open the 36th edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair with a pledge to continue to provide an enabling environment for business, especially manufacturing and export to thrive.
Represented at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island, venue of the ceremony by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment,
Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the President noted that Nigeria’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, would be a great opportunity for the country as the Country’s international trade recorded a surplus of three point two trillion naira between January and June this year.
He noted that this could be better with collaboration of both the public and private sector.
“The Private sector can help boost the demand for Nigerian products by aggressively pursuing value addition, adding greatly to the quality of goods originating from our country” he said.
The President described the Lagos International Trade Fair as a great opportunity to showcase the country’s capacity to produce to International standard.
On his part, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu commended the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, organisers of the fair for being an unrelenting partner especially through its policy advocacy which has been yielding positive results by ensuring good policy direction for the economic prosperity of not only Lagos State, but Nigeria at large. the Governor urged the Chamber to continue to initiate and develop more opportunities for supporting businesses, especially the young corps of entrepreneurs, who have great potentials of re-writing Lagos State’s business history and revitalizing Nigeria’s economic fortune
Renewing his administration’s commitment to partner with the Organised Private Sector to boost the economy, Governor Sanwo-Olu who outlined numerous ways in which his administration had been boosting MSME’s including soft loans from the State Employment Trust Fund, the Research and Innovation Fund, urged business owners in Lagos to take advantage of the opportunities to grow their business and further boost the economy.
“We have also been working to lower the Cost of Doing Business, Improve Ease of Doing Business, Build Skills, support Innovation and Strengthen the function of the Labour Market to improve capabilities, reduce conflict and foster harmonious industrial relations. Without doubt, my administration has been proactive and intentional in its support and interventions to improve and reinvigorate MSMEs”
“Let me further assure you that we shall not rest on our oars until business prosperity is guaranteed. This is because our administration is not oblivious of the fact that for us to achieve our dream of becoming Africa’s model megacity by 2025, we must continue to improve our business climate so as to attract more private sector investments, create jobs and increase productivity”. he said
In an opening address, LCCI President Dr Michael Olawale-Cole said the fair which has as its theme: : Connecting Businesses, Creating Values” was one of the ways the Chamber has been boosting commerce and trade despite huge challenges.
Dr Olawale-Cole stated that the business community is looking forward to the outcome of the national trade policy currently being reviewed and commended the Lagos State government for its continued support to grow small businesses.
Over the next ten days, Lagosians and visitors to the State will have the opportunity to shop for consumer goods at subsidize prices at the Fair.