The Lagos State Government has pledged continued support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), particularly players within the agribusiness space.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, gave the assurance in Lagos today at the flag-off of the 4th edition of the State Ministry of Agriculture Entrepreneurship Development Institute’s Training Programme.

Ms. Olusanya, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, explained that the support was necessary because of the immense contributions of SMEs to the State’s GDP as well as the need to see them create more value in the agriculture land space.

Her words: “I will like to assure you of the constant support of Mr. Governor to all SMEs in the State, particularly players within agribusiness space. He is aware of your immense contribution to the State’s GDP and would like to see you create more value in agriculture”.

 “I want to congratulate you for having been selected for this training that would propel you towards your financial empowerment. I charge all participants from the Lagos Agricprenuership Programme (LAP) to appreciate the resources Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration is investing in you. There are so many out there craving for the opportunities that have been bestowed upon you on a platter of gold. Please, I will not want you to take all these for granted. Remember, to whom much is given, much is expected,” the Commissioner averred.

She explained that the EDI is a window for pre-qualification of micro, small and medium enterprises to access funds dedicated by the Federal Government for small business growth.

According to her, one of such funds is the Agricultural Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), which is an initiative of the Bankers’ Committee, being managed by the CBN to support and complement the Federal Government’s efforts at promoting small and medium agri-businesses as a vehicle for sustainable economic development and employment generation.

The Commissioner added that the State Ministry of Agriculture Entrepreneurship Development Institute is, thus, one of the few accredited EDIs in Nigeria, noting that the Institute’s curriculum has been designed to cut across all functional business areas and agricultural value chains, with the main focus of guiding participants to navigate through the AGSMEIS loan portal.

Revealing that since inception four cohorts have been trained, which translate to a total of 139 trained applicants: 61 independent applicants and 78 Lagos Agripreneurship Programme-sponsored applicants, Olusanya said “As you may be aware, the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) is a CBN-accredited centre for the development of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial capabilities amongst Nigerians”.

“The Institute is expected to provide tools, techniques and framework for managing all functional areas of a business enterprise including production, marketing, personnel and finance”, Olusanya explained.

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