The United Kingdom Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Mrs. Helen Grant (MBE), revealed the UK’s government’s intent to partner with African cities to support SMEs and tech start-ups.
She disclosed this during the ongoing Lagos Economic Summit, Ehingbeti 2021.
This disclosure will bring much comfort to the hearts of young business owners who are seeking support from the government.
The prosperity of SMEs is critical to the economic growth of Lagos State and Nigeria at large.
This point was also echoed by the MD&CEO of First Bank, Mr Sola Adedutan.
In his brief address, he stated that “The importance of SMEs in shaping the economy of the state is duly recognized, and this is why we have designed several initiatives to support them.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of its economic stimulant plan, has provided more liquidity to banks to support lending to SMEs.
According to a PWC SME report which was published in 2020, SMEs contribute 48% of Nigeria’s GDP. Bringing the focus to Lagos, the city records the highest number of SMEs in the country.
Hence, its reputation as the commercial hub of the country. Lagos is followed by Oyo and Osun.
SMEs contribute to 96% of businesses and 84 percent of employment. These statistics underscore the importance of enabling these businesses.
Thankfully, from the discussions held at the summit on today’s pilot session, the conversation seems to be going in the right direction.
About Ehingbeti Economic Summit 2021
The annual Lagos State Economic Summit, popularly called EHINGBETI started in 2000.
The Summit began as an annual event.
Because of the importance attached to the Summit and its resolutions, it has changed from a yearly one to a biennial Summit to give the State Government some time to respond to commitments that she made.
However, the Summit was last held in 2014.
The Summit itself has a rich history.
It is of even greater pleasure to note that it has been hosted continuously since the beginning of the millennium in the year 2000 and is now firmly established as a credible forum for stimulating economic growth in Lagos State.
The theme for the 2021 event is, “For a greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade.”