-Says Ofada rice cures six diseases
A Professor of Entrepreneurship Development and Strategic Hub Management at the Western Ville University, San Diego, California, United States of America (USA), Prof. Adams Olu Adebayo, has stated that every prosperous economy in the world is supported by thriving domestic economic activities.
Adebayo, who is also a visiting Professor of E – Learning Programme, University of Washington and an African Scholar Faculty Member, Glasgow Caledonian University, London, charged that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria needs to upscale their operations by adopting technology to reduce hours of production and maximize output and profit.
The scholar, who is the current Chairman, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Lagos State Chapter, spoke as the guest speaker at the lecture segment of the opening ceremony of the 2nd edition of the Ikorodu Division Trade Fair (IKODIV 2023) held at the 500 – Seater auditorium, Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUSTECH), Ikorodu, on Monday.
The trade fair, which is being organized by the first indigenous Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lagos State, the Ikorodu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in collaboration with the LASUSTECH and supported by the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, is themed: ‘MSME: Key to an Inclusive and Sustainable Recovery for Economic Development’’.
The fair was declared open by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, and is currently ongoing at the LASUSTECH Convocation Ground, and will end on April 2, 2023.
The Governor was represented by the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. (Dr.) Lola Akande.
The Professor of Entrepreneurship Development and Strategic Hub Management, emphasizing the importance of MSMEs to the national economy, said:
“The 2021 National Survey on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) by the Small and Medium – size Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), stressed the important of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sub sector to the sustainable growth of national economy”, he said.
“Every economy in the world is supported by small businesses”, Prof. Adebayo stressed.
“Let me just give you an example, if you look at your corner shop and everywhere, you will see that everybody is an entrepreneur. If those entrepreneurs are just going to employ, let us assume that we have only 10, 000 of them and each of those 10, 000 employ just three people, you will see that at the end of 12 months, we would gave taken 30, 000 people out of the labour market.
“At this point, and with what I have studied and seen on ground at the moment, we are going to partner with the Lagos State University of Science and Technology to make sure that we are able to produce at least 100 employers of labour every year. They will be funded, trained and equipped, at the end of the day, a trained person is equivalent to a multi – millionaire and we will make sure that each of them will be able to employ a minimum of 100 (people) on their own. We are going to give them the support”, Prof. Adebayo assured.
“When we are talking about the Micro, Small and Medium enterprises that have been playing a vital role in ensuring stability and growth in the economy from the inception of this administration since 2015 to 2022, as we view through the national survey of the MSMEs, it is indicated that the sub sector contributed 49.78 percent of the National Gross Domestic Product while also accounted for over 76 percent of the total employment and contributing 7.64 to the total export”, he said.
Prof. Adebayo, who said that MSMEs in the country lack the capacity to meet up with the volume of quantities needed for exportation, added that manual nature of production, branding and packaging among other factors accounted for reason why they can not compete favourably at the international market.
He cited examples of Nigerian Ofada rice which he said is the best in the world and has been discovered to be a cure for many diseases. The guest lecturer who said that he always asked for the reason why the county’s ofada rice is expensive highlighted the factors that accounted for that.
“Our Ofada rice is one of the best rice that anybody can get in the world. Right now, they have discovered that Ofada rice cures about 6 different diseases on its own. All that you need to do is that you should just be eating Ofada rice and you will be okay. You will not need any drug and that sickness will vanish”, the Professor of Entrepreneurship Development and Strategic Hub Management.
The guest lecturer, who commended the administration of former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, for the introduction of FADAMA which he said he benefitted immensely from, added that there has been lots of improvement on how Ofada rice and other agric produce can be processed and make MSMEs have maximum outputs.
“The problem with our Ofada is that it has stones, and nobody wants to eat rice with stones, but there’s a lot of improvement. We have technology that takes away the stone, we call it the stoner and if you are not satisfied with the stoner, you will go for the extra one – colour sorter. The colour sorter will pick everything that is not the same colour with the rice. It Is about money, technology and about the way.
“It’s a collective effort. Anything that you are producing manually with your hands, you will have limitations in your production. Apart from having limitations in your production, the quantity you will produce will be high in cost because something that you should produce within an hour will take more hours. For instance, can you produce 32 tonnes of rice that we have in Imota manually? If ten trailers of rice are coming from Imota every day, we will not be talking about importation of rice anymore, because we would have gotten enough”, he said.
“I remember that those are the things that Lagos did when they collaborated with Kebbi because there wasn’t enough rice and they produced the Lake rice”, he recalled.
The guest lecturer charged MSMEs to invest in modern technology and be conscious about packaging and branding if there products are to compete favourably with others in the international market.
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. (Dr.) Lola Akande, who was represented by Mrs Adetutu Oluremi Ososanya, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, while commending the ICCI and LASUSTECH in collaborating to stage the trade fair, stating that the theme was chosen to bring about the development of the divisional economy within the larger state.
“I will like to commend the Board and members of Ikorodu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Management of Lagos State University of Science and Technology for collaborating to host the second edition of IKODIV Fair themed: ‘MSME: Key to an Inclusive and Sustainable Recovery for Economic Development’’. I believe the theme was consciously chosen to accentuate the significance of Ikorodu Division to the Economic development of Lagos State, particularly in the quest for progressive economic recovery, sustainable growth and development of our dear State and Nigeria in general”, she said.
“The lesson from this reality is that we must recognise that our survival as a State and Nation in general does not lie in the continuous importation of virtually all items, but in our ability to look inwards and discover our untapped and neglected resources, explore and develop them through productive activities and generate wealth for the nation and the people.
“To achieve this, the Government must continue to create an enabling business environment to grow the economy, while stakeholders in the Informal and Organised Private Sectors must also demonstrate their commitment to local exploration and production of resources for consumption and export purposes. This is the only way to chart a new course of economic recovery, growth and development for the State and nation”, she said.
Stating how the state government has been helping in creating conducive environment for the MSMEs to thrive, the Commissioner said:
“To this end, the Administration of Mr. Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has been intentional about implementing various programmes and projects meant to provide a conducive environment and stimulate business activities in the State.
“Recently, very ambitious projects initiated, facilitated or supported by the State Government were commissioned. These include the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Ibeju Lekki; Lagos Rice Mill in Imota, here in Ikorodu; 18.75km Eleko-Epe six-lane rigid pavement expressway; the first phase of the 13 kilometres Lagos Blue Light Rail and others. Without doubt, these projects are already impacting labour and many enterprises positively in different parts of the State.
“Ultimately, MSMEs will form the greater percentage of beneficiaries as they work towards sustainable recovery for economic development”, she assured.
“In addition, the administration has successfully laid 3,000 kilometre Fibre Optic Cable Network across the State, as the first phase of the Lagos Smart City/Fibre Duct Infrastructure Project, to drive business activities, particularly of MSMEs whose operations depend on fast internet access.
“The implementation of the project, which has recognised e-commerce as the new goldmine, as proactively identified by Mr. Governor, will promote the penetration of digital technology in our economy and enable businesses to latch on to the numerous benefits of e-commerce as an enabler for business resilience and recovery. Thus, MSMEs higher digital maturity will reflect positively on the income of small business owners.
“When fully connected, MSMEs can leverage the network’s digital technology for development of products and services, financial management, procurement, customer care, marketing products and services. The use of tools such as social media, global e-commerce platforms and websites can support MSMEs to access wider markets, leading to increased income, employment generation and faster economic recovery”, she said.
President, ICCI, Sir (Engr.) Chief Olukayode Shoderu, in his address, said that the theme underlined the importance of MSMEs to the development of the economy, especially in the post COVID – 19 recovery.
“Our theme for the Trade Fair is “MSME – key to an Inclusive and Sustainable Recovery for Economic Development”. This theme reflects our commitment to promoting MSMEs as key drivers of economic growth and development in Ikorodu. We believe that by empowering MSMEs, we can build a more inclusive and sustainable economy for all”, he said
“In light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Trade Fair takes on a special significance. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of resilience and adaptability in the face of unprecedented circumstances. The Trade Fair offers a platform for entrepreneurs and MSMEs to showcase their products and services and to explore new opportunities for growth and innovation.
“ICCI is committed to supporting businesses and entrepreneurs through these difficult times. We are working closely with the government and other stakeholders to create an enabling environment for business to thrive”, Sir. Shoderu said.
Prof. Olumuyiwa Omotola Odusanya, the Vice Chancellor, LASUSTECH, said that the institution is collaborating with ICCI to promote economic development of its host community.
“Our institution being located in Ikorodu serves to promote the welfare and prosperity of our host community. Thus, partnering with the Ikorodu Chambers of Commerce and Industry is strategic for us and we sincerely hope to sustain the relationship,”, he said.
“Trade fairs are an avenue to promote economic prosperity of an area. It is a time to explore markets, buy, sell and form new partnerships that will further deepen the growth and industrialization of the area. It is my hope that the Ikorodu Trade Fair will achieve such goals”.
Aalso at the event were His Majesties, Alaiyeluwas (Oba) Engr. Kabir Adewale Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Oba (Barr.) Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, FCA, the Ranodu of Imota, Oba (DR.) Abdul – Akeem Adeoriyomi Oyebo, the Obateru of Egbin Kingdom, Oba Ahmed Moruf Olalekan Ogunnaike, the Alagura of Agura, High Chief Musediq Alliu, the Regent/Olisa of Ijede, traditional chiefs and Baales.
Other included President, NACCIMA, Ide John Chinyelu Udeagbala, NPOM, KSJ, 2nd Deputy President and Chairman, IKODIV 2023 Planning Committee, Prince Seye Adedipe, former Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, Deputy VC (Academics), LASUSTECH, Dr Olumide Metilelu and Director, Public Relations and Information, LASUSTECH, Mr Lanre Kuye, as well as Directors of various departments in the Ministry.