Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Doris Uzoka-Anite, has charged young entrepreneurs in the country to embrace new technologies and innovations across board.
Uzoka-Anite who was represented by Miss Lucia Shittu, Managing Director/ CEO Tafawa Balewa Square Management Board, made the remark at the opening ceremony of the 37th edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair, organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), themed: “Navigating economic challenges, forging a path to prosperity.”
She noted that the 2023 trade fair was being held to create more value across the state.
Emphasising the importance of trade fair in promoting economic growth, the minister restated the need to focus more on the use of technology, connectivity and stand united in the face of the world’s economic difficulties and problems for growth.
She urged participants to explore business opportunities through the fair, noting that SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy, the images that power growth and innovation.
“It is our duty to provide them with the necessary support and resources they need to flourish.”
“With good policies, access to finance and capacity building initiatives, we will empower these enterprises to reach new heights of success.
“One of these initiatives is the Presidential loan scheme designed to provide small and medium enterprises with access to working capital. The world is changing, and so must we, innovation is certainly not a luxury or a necessity. We must embrace new technologies and adapt to evolving consumer demands
President of LCCI, Michael Olawale-Cole, acknowledged the challenging economic environment that the nation is wading through and called for innovative solutions to foster economic growth and prosperity.
He noted that Nigeria’s economy, like many others, has been impacted by global economic shocks, geopolitical uncertainties such as: the Russia-Ukraine war, the number of successful coups and coup attempts in Africa, the war in Gaza and the present administration’s economic policy reforms.
Olawale-Cole pointed out that the theme of the fair reflects the reality the nation is facing and underscores the determination of the Nigerian business community to overcome its many hurdles of existence, survival and growth.
He said the fair is organised to keep the economy going, adding that the theme calls upon all to acknowledge the difficulties we face while inspiring us to seek solutions, embrace new opportunities and develop innovative strategies to foster economic growth.
He lamented that the challenges confronting the nation have left no sector untouched; from the impact on small and medium-sized enterprises to the challenges faced by large corporations, we have all had to adapt, innovate, and persevere.
“Despite these challenges, we stand here today, showcasing the resilience of our people and our unwavering commitment to progress.
“The Lagos International Trade Fair, another testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that so well adds definition to our countrymen and women. It provides a stage for us to come together, learn from one another and explore avenues for cooperation.
Nigeria, often referred to as the “Giant of Africa,” has been a beacon of hope and opportunity on the continent for decades.
In his address, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, applauded the chamber, noting that the fair was strategic and transformative as it will further build the investment ecosystems to support more competitive investment opportunities in Nigeria.
“I must say that I am very proud of the leading role being played by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in this sector, as this Fair has the potential to generate and woo Foreign Direct Investment into our dear country and reduce the pressure on our currency.”
The governor reassured that the state government would continue to ensure conducive business environment for investments to thrive.
“we see the challenges as great opportunities for further investment and our administration is not only working assiduously to change the narratives, we are also ready to work with willing investors to expand the infrastructure for the benefit of our businesses in particular and our State and nation in general.
“Directly, we are committing huge resources to build infrastructure that improves business operations and make the State attractive for investment.”