Tinubu, Lagos govt, others commend YEN over 2019 SME Trade Fair
With large number of exhibitors, visitors and other participants’ presence yesterday at the National Theatre in Lagos as the much awaited 2019 SME International Week and Trade Fair got underway, many have commended the organisers for putting together the event.
The Trade Fair with the theme Promoting Economic Growth and Prosperitywhich was organized by the Young Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (YEN), had in attendance distinguished senator representing Lagos Central, Mrs Oluremi Tinubu; Lagos Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Dr (Mrs) Lola Akande, amongst other personalities, who graced the opening ceremony.
Also in attendance were many owners of small and medium enterprises to include foods and beverages, clothing and textiles, artistic works, real estate, internet services providers, kitchen utensils and others.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, represented by Princess Elegushi, commended the idea and efforts of YEN in organising the Trade Fair, describing it as a brilliant platform to showcase businesses being done by the youths.
Senator Tinubu, who described SMEs as profound in increasing economic growth and development, commended YEN for its efforts in training and empowering young Nigerians in entrepreneurship.
“I must commend the Young Entrepreneurs of Nigeria for the works that you do in training, empowering and giving Nigerian youths a platform to show their products,” Senator Tinubu said.
” I commend you all for taking bold steps into entrepreneurship. I’m particularly delighted that Nigeria is part of the African Free Trade Agreement as it provides larger market for your goods and services across different regions hence I encourage you to try before the commencement of the implementation to strengthen your operations and ascertain how best to make the best use of the opportunity.
“It is my hope that you all can go on to become employers of labour. However you must be willing to make yourselves accountable to ensuring optimum service delivery and remain consistent.”
She promised to always support activities that will provide avenue for youths to be financially empowered.
“On my own part, I’ll continue to sponsor bills, motions towards empowerment programmes to ensuring that my constituents are better of. In the last few years, I have ensured this through empowerment and skills acquisition scheme, petty traders economic empowerment scheme and the widows economic empowerment scheme.
” In addition we have only recently commenced The Work Experience programme for 250 unemployed graduates of the Lagos Central Senatorial District. As an approach to inculcate the skills, work based etiquette and knowledge to be more positioned for employment in the labour market. And I am open to ideas on how we can best protect small businesses to ensure that they thrive despite overwhelming challenges,” she concluded.
In her remarks, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Dr Mrs Akande, represented by Mr Abiodun Okesanya, lauded the organisers for their contributions to youth empowerment, describing YEN as a formidable team.
“Let me start by commending the organisers for their efforts towards contributing to economic development of the state through skills acquisition training, effective communications, capacity building and youth empowerment and mentorship,” she stated.
” It is worthy of note that entrepreneurship is largely encouraged in Lagos State and Nigeria to mitigate the challenges of unemployment, as more youths are now creating business ventures rather than looking for white collar jobs which are no longer available. The impact of this event is to spur youth ventures for their contributions to the economic growth of the country.
“As a state, the government of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu will continue to support youth development, capacity building and mentorship, exposing them to financial opportunities, platforms to learn which have led to more creativity and efficiency.
“We are stimulating economic development, providing resources for youths to expand through industrial linkage and others. It is on this premise that several efforts are geared towards providing of enabling environment for micro, small and medium enterprises to thrive in Lagos state.
” The focus of the Lagos State Government is to make the state a 21st century economy. We are of the fact that our policies in creating a greater Lagos will materialise when we support the yearnings of entrepreneurs. I urge all young entrepreneurs not to relent in partnering with the government.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Chairman Organising Group, Dr Jude Nwankwo, thanked Senator Tinubu, the Lagos State Government Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative and other individuals and organizations for their support towards the Trade Fair and youth entrepreneurship.
While acknowledging the commitment of the exhibitors, Dr Nwankwo expressed optimism that the Trade Fair would rake in massive financial returns for them, stressing that many visitors would be in attendance.
“This is not the first time Young Entrepreneurs of Nigeria is organising events and all our events always attract a lot of audience,” Dr Nwankwo said.
Adding, “So be rest assured that you will make a lot of sales.”
Many of the exhibitors described the trade fair as a welcome development, calling for more supports from the government, financial institutions and relevant organizations in providing more resource aids for youth.