Ogbobine said this at the MSME Recovery Advocacy Project in Lagos State Implemented by The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) supported by The Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria- SEDIN of Deutsche Gesellschaff fur Internationale Zesammenarbeit (GIZ).
The event brought together small and medium scale business owners, government officials, industry players and representatives from The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.
He said that 96% of businesses in Nigeria are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and despite the large number of MSMEs in the State, the impact is yet to be fully felt as challenges and bottlenecks continue to plague the industry.
He said “the challenges range from inadequate funding and semi-skilled manpower to infrastructural deficits”.
According to him, several MSMEs in the state have been decimated by the COVID-19 and recovery could largely depend on funding.
He noted that interest-bearing financing could further strain the finances of these MSMEs at this time, thus providing grants could be an alternative source of finance.
“A broad spectrum of firms can benefit, including micro-enterprises and SMEs with limited growth potential without adding to their debt levels”, he said.
“We would recommend that the Lagos State Government also creates a COVID Business Help Desk which would help co-ordinate the sourcing and disbursement of various funds and initiatives from the Central Government, MDAs and international partners aimed at COVID relief”.
In her words, The State Coordinator and Policy Advisor, The Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria Programme- SEDIN, Chinazo Okoye called for transparent and effective public private partnership that will help to advance the course of the MSMEs in Lagos
She said that the public sector and private sector players can work within the same state, so a strong collaboration is always encouraged.