The importance of building relationships and networking among businesses for wealth creation, trade partnerships, productivity growth and interactions between and amongst stakeholders in the business ecosystem, has been stressed. This piece of information was given by the President/Chairman of Council, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Asiwaju (Dr.) Michael Olawale-Cole, who spoke at the closing ceremony of the 2023 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF), held in Lagos.
According to the President, the generic theme for the annual fair, ‘Connecting Businesses, Creating Value’, underlined the importance of relationship development, saying that all levels of government should continue to address the enabling environment issues in the country with particular focus on infrastructure, insecurity, and the implementation of appropriate policies to address the primary causes of sub-optimality in monetary policy performance, adding that there is the need to do these to fully harness the huge enterprising resources of domestic and foreign investors for the diversification of our economy and the welfare of the people.
Speaking at the occasion, the Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, disclosed that Lagos State is the economic nerve centre of Nigeria and contributes approximately 25 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), saying that over the past year, there had been an impressive eight per cent growth in the non-oil sector, which is a testament to the resilience and innovation of the country’s industrious business community. She stated that many of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) are growing and accounting for about 80 per cent of the state’s employment, which underscored their pivotal role in job creation and economic development.
“Let us look beyond the numbers. The real value lies in the stories these numbers tell -stories of entrepreneurs who, despite challenges, have built thriving businesses; stories of international investors, who see Lagos, not just as a business destination, but as a hub of innovation and creativity; and stories of everyday Lagosian, whose diligence and tenacity propel our state forward, businesses must adapt to various economic variables for survival and prosperity while building an internal mechanism to face economic challenges. At the crux of this is the unrelenting commitment to combine factors of production to create marketable value that can be converted to wealth”, she stated.
The commissioner added further that economic challenges and the need to forge a path to prosperity had made the state government, to interface with all stakeholders, as they push the agenda of the present administration to support businesses by fostering a conducive environment and enhancing the ease of doing business in the state, saying that the current administration remained committed to sustaining engagement with the organised private sector and other stakeholders by determining to build on the already created relationship and strengthen partnership that had been mutually-beneficial, and also foster an environment for shared values and deeper collaboration because they understood that in our interconnected world, the success of one is invariably linked to the success of all, Ambrose-Medebem said.