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Unemployment Inevitable If Government Fails To Support MSMEs – Commissioner

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Lola Akande, has stated that unemployment is inevitable if the government fails to support SMEs.

According to her, failure to support SMEs would lead to a massive job loss and an increase in poverty and insecurity.

Akande who was represented by Helen Adesina, Director of Commerce in the ministry made the statement at the Annual Seminar of the Small and Medium Enterprises Group (SMEG) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday, November 19.

At the event tagged “Positioning SMEs for Growth in the New Normal’’, Adesina disclosed that the importance of MSMEs in any economy can not be overemphasized as they account for two-thirds of global employment and half of GDP, adding that SMEs create jobs and put food on peoples’ table.

Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, the President of LCCI, also explained that one of the most strategic moves towards reflating the nation’s economy is supporting SMEs. She said that ideas on strategies that would help position small and medium business operators for sustainable growth in the new normal should be put forward.

She commended the interventions by the fiscal and monetary sides of authorities in cushioning the impact of the pandemic on the business community.

Adesina, said: “The importance of MSMEs in any economy is impossible to be overemphasized, as they account for two-thirds of global employment and half of GDP. SMEs create jobs and put food on peoples’ tables. Sadly, SMEs are particularly susceptible to folding up as a result of the COVID and post-COVID economic situation.

These businesses were already faced with challenges of cash flow, competition from larger companies, non-existent economies of scale in raw materials sourcing, marketing, sales and distribution, as well as, a lack of relevant managerial skills and skilled employees.

“Failure to bolster these vulnerable SMEs with necessary tools to overcome this new normal will lead to loss of employment, a reduction in the spending power of the average citizen and ultimately, an exponential increase in poverty and insecurity.’’

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