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2017 FORUM



Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have played and continue to play significant roles in the growth, development and industrialization of many economies the world over. There is no doubt that SMEs in Nigeria have great potentials and capacity to stimulate the desired growth and development of the economy if well nurtured and galvanized. SMEs have performed below expectations in Nigeria due to a combination of problems which ranges from attitude and habits of SMEs themselves through environmental related factors, instability of governments and frequent government policy changes and somersaults.

The top ten problem areas of SMEs in Nigeria include poor management, inadequate finance, infrastructural deficit, government policy inconsistencies and bureaucracy, environmental factors, multiple taxes and levies, inaccessibility to modern technology, unfair competition, marketing problems and non-availability of raw materials locally.

SME development cuts across sectors, involves multiple stakeholders and necessitates concerted actions by the public and private sectors. Indeed, the task of building, potentiating and positioning SMEs as an elixir and pivot of economic growth and development requires the efforts of all stakeholders, especially the government and financial institutions.


DATE: Wednesday, October 18, 2017
VENUE: Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos State
REGISTRATION: 9:00am prompt.


This year’s conference shall be facilitated by very distinguished personalities who have recorded milestone achievements in their careers with immense contributions to the growth and development of the economy and SMEs in particular.

Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CON, Chairman, Heirs Holdings will present the Keynote Paper that will form the fulcrum of discussions at the Forum.

Prof. Charles Soludo, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, will Chair the occasion with Mrs. Ibokun Awosika, Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria as Guest of Honour.

Development partners, policy makers, academia, and leading civil society organizations within and outside the country shall make significant contributions with inputs from key sectors of the economy.


The main objectives of the 24thAnnual LAPO Development Forum are:

Identify and analyze the most effective and efficient way through which small scale enterprises could be financed and promoted in Nigeria
Provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, development partners, academia, policy makers and all relevant stakeholders to interact on how to galvanize SMEs for the growth and development of the economy.
Create enabling legal, regulatory and administrative environments for SMEs to thrive in Nigeria
Provide information on youth employment and participation in Nigeria’s SME sector
Strengthen SME capacity to improve their competitiveness in domestic, regional and global markets.
Achieve poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth and development through SMEs development


The outcome of the Forum would be a well documented report containing presentations, discussions, major conclusions and recommendations, capable of providing a realistic road map for achieving a vibrant SMEs sector armed with the wherewithal to drive Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
Enhance implementation of existing policies

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