The much talked about Breakfast Meeting with the Chief of Staff, Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA, Hon. Lucky Uduikhue was held yesterday, August 29, 2019.
The event organized by the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Small and Medium Enterprise Trade Group which is a pet project of Hon. Uduikhue under the Chairman’s office, was held inside the Chairman’s Chamber and attracted small and medium business owners within the community.
The event which was kick started with an opening remark by Hon. Uduikhue saw Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim putting the participants on the edge of their seats with his resounding and thought provoking lecture.
He made it clear that for you to thrive in your business, you have to pay yourself salary and not always depending on the proceeds from your business at all times.
“Don’t put your business money with personal funding as that will only enlarge you quest for spending because you will always have demands,” he said.
He summed up his lecture by stressing the need for business owners to always ensure they are friendly with their customers.
Alhaji Adeniji Yusuf was the next discussant who narrowed it to the role of Corporative Societies for small businesses. He spoke to the participants on the need for them to form cooperatives so as to be able to access loans from government agencies notable of which is the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.
Representatives of Access Bank Plc who talked about CBN’s policy on loans for small businesses took the opportunity to clear the air on the Federal Government’s Trader Moni.
They made it clear during the questions and answers segment that the Federal Government decided then to take the project to the markets themselves thus, taking away the project from them.
The speaker also took time out to talk about their account that does not require COT while also advising participants not to take loans that can injure their business but instead advised them to keep proper records.
He also stressed on their SME Clinic which is a one on one meeting with their clients and cited that they can support innovative ideas with as much as N3m with an interest rate of 9% annually.
Mr. Akin Marino, Chairman/CEO, FIAM (AJ City Internet) got the participants excited when he talked about his company’s reduced data tariff is all about; sounding more like a foreigner.
“We offer data to lower income, high density areas understanding their deficiency. Ajegunle for me is coming back home,” he started.
Internet he said needs to be clear, fast, reliable, simple and transparent, stressing on the great amount of capacity that is existent in Ajegunle.
“Children in our schools will have internet access in partnership with Ajeromi-Ifelodun local government,” he affirmed.
He concluded by unveiling their YouTube programme that will be done in partnership with Lagos State Doctors.
In his address, the Executive Chairman, Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA, Hon. Fatai Adekunle Ayoola appreciated the entrepreneurs and the corporate institutions for turning out.
“In Ajeromi-Ifelodun local government council, we are trying to change the narratives of what they used to say about Ajegunle. From my head to my toe, I am proudly Ajegunle,” he began.
“Very few people can have their children born abroad and still bring them to Ajegunle to continue their education.
On security issues in the community, Hon. Ayoola said: “For businesses to thrive, we have put some things in place in terms of security. We gave three vehicles and power motor bikes to the Police Divisions so they can respond to calls.
We also gave out vehicles to SARs, the Nigerian Navy and the Army Signals Barracks for prompt patrol. All these measures are to ensure that nobody will disturb whatever business you do in Ajegunle.”
He concluded by stating that they also have their challenges like every other government which they are not shying away from, but urged everyone to join hands to make Ajegunle great.
The Ibile Microfinance bank representative highlighted their loan products as contained in their brochure but seriously advised participants not to depend on loans forever.
“We should embrace savings, embrace POS when you save and use technology as it helps to grow business,” he asserted.
He bolstered that: Nigeria is endowed but the information doesn’t go round enough to reach everyone.”
Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim during the questions and answers segment had this to say: “If your business is not strong and you go to the bank they won’t give you loans. First, you have to have a good business idea and then the money will come.”
One of the three final speakers, Stephen from Xpress Payment Solutions Limited who made it unequivocally clear that they were not there to give loans.
“We started operations in 2016 and we are not here to give loans, but to set you up as an agent to earn payment.”
Representative from the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives advised every participant to form a cluster and form cooperative societies as that will aide their easy access to loan facilities and help expand their businesses.
Elizabeth Olingue and Christian Ejiaga from MBA Forex and Capital Investment Limited who made the last presentation on the day also made it clear they don’t deal on loans but on investments.
They went on to state their various offers, ranging from Ride in 90 days for car purchases, School fees, Rents and the like, made it known they leverage on trading Forex.
In all, the event was worth the while as participants can’t wait for the next edition that comes up on September 26, 2019.