Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has promised to support the growth of small businesses in the state to address unemployment.
Fashola stated this during the inspection of Yaba Industrial Estate, a business incubator established in 1954.
In a statement on Tuesday, the governor also promised to solve the problem of electricity supply in the estate as this would reduce the cost of production.
Fashola said the estate would be provided with electricity through the state’s Independent Power Project.
While fielding questions from journalists at the estate after the inspection tour, he said it was possible to create a steady power supply for the manufacturers in order to cut down their cost of production and enable them to create jobs for more unemployed people.
Fashola said, “The underlying rationale is supporting small businesses, helping to create employment because I have never subscribed to this grandstanding about employment creation. Employment creation happens only if businesses are doing well. When businesses are working they will employ people”.
Noting that all of the manufacturers he spoke with during the inspection complained of lack of power, Fashola declared, “It is possible to create a steady power supply here. They are doing business, they are producing but they all can do with cheaper power.”
Fashola said his administration had done a similar thing in Isolo Industrial Estate, where it put a big power unit and provided meters for all of the small businesses.
He said, “As we are developing our Independent Power Projects, we are decommissioning big generators. One big generator decommissioned can come here and serve the whole of this place in a much more reliable way.
“It can also be cleaner because they can power it with Liquefied Petroleum Gas instead of diesel. Those are the kind of solutions we are looking at.”
He said his administration was ready to work with the manufacturers to make the place more conducive.
He said the government’s plan for the place would also include the relocation of some of the businesses that had outgrown the incubation stage, adding that some of the manufacturers had the intention to expand but have no space to expand in the estate.