It was an unexpected happy ending for many Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (MSME) business owners at the maiden edition of the Ikorodu Division Expo holding at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu main campus playground and which ends today, as the Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Senator Tokunbo Abiru, supported their businesses with monetary grant and book materials.
A total of 20 among the exhibitors at the trade fair tagged, ‘IKODIV Expo 2021’, and which started on Thursday, December 2, were given N100, 000 each as support by the lawmaker who is the Chairman, Senate House Committee on Industries, to grow their businesses.
The Trade Fair was organized by the Ikorodu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ICCI) and the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH).
Also, another 40 exhibitors were presented with 40 Business Knowledge packs, containing seven (7) business related books meant to enhance the capacity of the MSME owners. The books cover subjects, ranging from Financial Management, Marketing and Communications, Digital Technology, Tax Management, Strategy, Legal and Human Capital.
According to the Senator’s Special Adviser on Media Publicity, Mr Enitan Olukotun, the grant provided for the business owners is not to be paid back but to be used to expand their respective businesses.
He said that the gesture is part of the lawmaker’s interventions to support small business owners and help them in growing their businesses, make it lucrative, increase productivity and patronage which will increase their capacity.
Olukotun added that it is through this that the business owners can be able to employ teeming youths who are unemployed and also contribute to the development of Lagos East Senatorial District, Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
Another aide of the Senator, Mr Bosun Adeyemi, said that literature books provided to some of the business owners are what they needed to grow their businesses and enable them develop the capacity to access bigger funding.
“The tools that we are also providing for some of you will help you develop and expand your businesses and prepare you for access to bigger funding in the next three or four months”, he said.
“These business owners are not in need of a small amount to support their businesses but business knowledge to grow and that is why we are providing them with these books to assist them”.
Some of the beneficiaries that spoke with our reporter said that they were surprised by the Senator’s gesture and commended him for the support .
Mrs Rukayat Akinpelu – Onabanjo, the Chief Executive Officer, Oga Event & Production, said that she only came to display her products at the fair and registered when she was approached by the Senator’s aides but that to her surprise, she was called as a beneficiary of the monetary grant.
“I came to the fair to display my products and wasn’t expecting anything like this and initially when saw Abiru’s stand here, I thought that it was the usual campaign and when I was approached, I just put in for the grant and was going about my business.
“Surprisingly, I was told that I am one of the beneficiaries.
“Thank you Senator Abiru for the support. You are doing good”, she said.
Mrs Odukoya Aduragbemi, a Rice farmer and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was full of thanks to Senator Abiru whom she said is a good representative whom she will canvas for his re-election.
“I thank Abiru ‘Bambam’ for doing this great thing for us. He has put smile on our faces for the Christmas period with this support.
“My support and campaign will always be for him”, she assured the Senator.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Anita Tele Oduloye, also expressed surprise at the support from the lawmaker.
“I wasn’t expecting to be one of the beneficiaries but I was told that a grant will be provided for my business which I am very appreciative of.
“This would go a long way in helping businesses. I will use this money to get raw materials for my production.
“Ikorodu businesses will definitely appreciate this”, she added.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Salami said that she appreciated Senator Abiru’s gesture to business owners at the exhibition and described the support as a big intervention for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (MSME) in Ikorodu.
Mr Allen Oluyisola, a 53-Year-Old male exhibitor and a beneficiary who is also a student in the department of Computer Science, Lagos State Polytechnic thanked Senator Abiru for the gesture.
He promised to always support the Senator in his future elections.
“I will go out of my way to convince those who are close to me to do the same’’, Oluyisola said.