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Lagos Spends N10bn To Boost Employment – Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, announced a 100 per cent increment in capital subvention to Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.

The governor also said his administration, in the last three years, had committed over N10 billion in grant to strengthen LSEFT’s activities, supporting 34,000 MSMEs through the intervention.

Sanwo-Olu made the announcement at the second edition of Lagos Employment Summit organised by LSETF.

The event with the theme: “Sustainable Job Creation Strategies: Collective Action and Prosperity for All”, is being held at Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island, according to a statement by Sanwo-Olu’s media aide, Gboyega Akosile.

The intervention, the governor said, was instrumental to the 6.7 per cent drop in the unemployment rate, as recorded by the National Bureau of Statistics before the disruption occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sanwo-Olu said that the agency needed to rejig its activities, with the aim to extend the financial assistance to more businesses in the state, stressing that COVID-19 could no longer be used as an excuse for not assisting productive people in creating wealth through entrepreneurship.

He said: “We cannot continue to give COVID-19 as an excuse, because the pandemic is behind us now. We need to think of approaches that will create opportunities for teeming number of our youths in the coming days. Young people are waiting on us and relying on us.

“It is one of our campaign promises that, LSEFT would come out stronger and better under our leadership. I charge the Board of Trustees and the management team to take this opportunity to push LSEFT further to become a global brand that all of us can truly be proud of.”

Furthermore, the governor said he doubled the agency’s subvention in a bid to further increase access to finance for budding entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses through soft loans and funding support.

Sanwo-Olu said the incentive would further strengthen other government’s interventions initiated towards empowering and upskilling innovative young people, while also providing support grants for established businesses.

With the increased allocation, the governor said more entrepreneurs would be captured in grant allocations to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, thereby lowering the unemployment figures of the state.

He said: “We have seen that LSETF can work and indeed, it is working. We have seen the potential of the agency in sustaining creation of job opportunities for our teeming productive residents. I strongly believe that we can achieve a lot more in bringing down the unemployment rate in Lagos if we entrust the agency with a lot more capital grants to support businesses and innovative people.

“LSETF has the capacity and has demonstrated it in the last four years. Given the opportunity of increased funding, the agency can double the employment figures. It is only by scaling up the subvention that we can further demonstrate our readiness to reduce the rate of unemployment. I have asked for the agency’s budget size and I have seen what it is. This is a public pronouncement that we are doubling the subvention.

“We are doing this because the LSEFT management team has given us practical proof of concept that the intervention can boost employment opportunities. In this regard, I make an appeal to our funding and development partners to also double their donations to the agency, because there are more people in the State to be taken out of poverty when they have access to business finance. This way, we would be empowering more people to create wealth and spread prosperity.”

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