The Lagos State Government and GIZ have entered into a strategic partnership to address the effects of COVID-19 on MSMEs.
By Itohan Abara-Laserian
The Lagos State Government and the German Development Agency (GIZ) have entered into a strategic partnership to address the effects of COVID-19 on Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).
The partnership was solidified on Thursday in Lagos, at a workshop on “Validation for the Draft Report on Assessment of the Impact of Policy Options to Address the effects of COVID-19 on MSMEs and Jobs in Lagos State”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the partnership was under the auspices of both the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and the Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria (SEDIN-GIZ) programme.
Mr Charles Anyawu, the Director, Fund Raising/Stakeholders Engagements Communication and Partnership, LSETF, said the programme was to ensure that adequate polices were formulated to address the challenges peculiar to Nigeria and occurrences such as pandemic.
Anyawu said that partnership such as this was to direct all stakeholders in the ecosystem toward a more sustainable economy in Lagos State.
He expressed optimism that with attendance of MSMEs stakeholders, discussions and recommendations would be better focussed to grow the sector in the state.
“Let us imagine the impact of the pandemic on our sources of livelihoods of Lagosians, it was devastating.
“Nigeria is categorised as a developing nation and what we did not need was an additional burden like the pandemic.
“This programme is to ensure that we put policies in place to address any such occurrence in the future, looking forward to a more sustainable economy in Lagos,” Anyawu said.
Also, the Head, SEDIN-GIZ, Mr Markus Wauschkuhn, said the pandemic presented opportunities such as technological adaptation.
Wauschkuhn said that SEDIN-GIZ, funded by German Government and European Union tried to look on policy level on the need for governments to improve local economic and industrial levels through technical supports and economic literacy.
He said that outcome of the validation workshop would good the works of SEDIN-GIZ.
According to him, this is to review the existing reports of the economic impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs and jobs in Lagos State.
“To collate and validate policy recommendations to address the impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs and jobs in Lagos Statetate; to develop policy briefs and present them to relevant policy actors at the national and state levels.
“Also, to increase advocacy for policy reform at the state and national levels toward enabling MSMEs to recover from the impact of the pandemic and create jobs,” Wauschkuhn said.
He added that the emergence of COVID-19 had changed the economic policy and business enabling environment’s landscape due to its impact on national and sub-national economies, large corporations, MSMEs and jobs.
At the presentation of findings and recommendations, Mr Jimi Ogbobine, the Senior Manager, Agusto and Co, said 96 per cent of businesses are MSMEs and Lagos was more dependent on MSMEs than Nigeria as a country.
Ogbobine highlighted the risks MSMEs were facing to include macro, financing/liquidity, operational, infrastructure, regulatory and COVID-19 risks.
He said that unemployment in Lagos State rose to 37.14 per cent as at Q4 of 2020 compared to 19.50 per cent recorded in Q2 of the same year.
Ogbobine presented the policy recommendations as increased engagements of market actors in post COVID-19 era; serving as an implementation partner for the Federal Government and other partners; fast-track regulatory and statutory approval processes.
“Digitise approvals and regulatory processes; institutionalising broad and regulatory reforms in response to the pandemic; establishment of the MSMEs grant support scheme, among others,” he said. (NAN)