- LCCI Wants Greater Market Access for SMEs
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that there is a need to provide greater market access for operators in the Small and Medium Enterprise sector of the Nigerian economy.
The President, LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande, said this in an interview with our correspondent after the opening ceremony of the LCCI Members’ Day Exhibition held in Lagos on Wednesday.
She noted that the exhibition had opened up market access and brought the SMEs in contact with consultants and financial service providers.
She appealed to the government to encourage more programmes aimed at exposing the sector to the market and called on the citizens of Nigeria to patronise locally made products.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Membership and Welfare Committee, LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, said exhibitions such as the one organised by the chamber created a platform for businesses to network and find out what other people were doing.
She remarked that such exhibitions opened the SMES to the market and to members of the public while allowing them to get a sense of the trends and direction of the market as well as know how to improve on their product offerings.
She encouraged government to lead buy Nigeria campaign by patronising local products.
Mabogunje pointed out that there was a need to establish the Small Business Procurement Act where large businesses could be encouraged to buy a lot of what they needed from small businesses.
She added, “The Ministry of Information also needs to have an ongoing campaign for made-in-Nigeria products so that Nigerians can think made-in-Nigeria first before they think of anything else.
“The business people have to make sure that what they produce is of good quality because everybody wants to buy what is of good quality.”
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Mr. Olalekan Akudo, said that the SMEs needed encouragement from government and individuals by creating visibility for their products.
“Rather than rush to expend our scarce foreign exchange on foreign goods, we can buy at home and export what we produce and generate more foreign exchange for the country,” he said.