Sanwo-Olu Increases Support For Lagos Employment Trust Fund By 100%
At the second edition of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget (MEPB) employment summit, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu pledged a 100 per cent increment in capital subvention to LSETF.
The governor doubled the agency’s subvention in a move to further increase access to finance for budding entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses through soft loans and funding support.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed this during the second edition of the Lagos Employment Summit organised by LSETF. The event with the theme: ‘Sustainable Job Creation Strategies: Collective Action and Prosperity for All’ held at Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos
Sanwo-Olu said the incentive would further strengthen other state 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 (MSMEs), 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 the 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.”
The governor said his administration, in the last three years, had committed over N10 billion in grants to strengthen LSEFT’s activities, supporting 34,000 MSMEs through the intervention.
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 (NBS) 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.
“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 a teeming number of our youths in the coming days. Young people are waiting on us and rely 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,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor vowed to incorporate outcomes of the summit into the implementation of the state’s governing agenda.
The governor and 70 other notable speakers on the future of work as tech advances presented various papers including the Chairman LSETF, Mrs. Bola Adesola; Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Development and Planning, Mr. Sam Egube; and Director, Africa Growth Initiative, Mr. Aloysius Uche Ordu.
They spoke on topics that include the Workforce of the Future: ‘Gig Economy’ – opportunities, challenges, and strategies for success; Women’s economic empowerment as a tool for economic growth; Orange Economy: A driver of youth employment in emerging markets; Partnering for Impact: Critical areas that drive youth employment; Job Centres: Preparing Youth for a Resilient Career; amongst others.