Over 2,000 Lagosians on Monday benefited from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), as they were presented with cheques ranging from N200,000 to over N500,000 by the State government as loans to start their businesses.
With Monday’s disbursement of the loans, the state government through LSETF, according to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has now disbursed over N7 billion in loans while the total beneficiaries have also increased to over 10,000.
Ambode made the disclosure in his speech at the presentation ceremony which took place at the LTV Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Ikeja.
He also disclosed that women have benefited substantially from the LSETF programmes.
According to the governor “Our commitment to women is evident in the number of women who are beneficiaries of the programmes of this Fund. Before today we had a total of 3,652 female loan beneficiaries to the 4,280 male loan beneficiaries.
“Under our Lagos Employability Support Programme, women represent 49% of the total number of young people that LSETF has trained while in our Lagos Innovates programme which supports a tech ecosystem dominated by men, 21% of the beneficiaries are women
“In line with our promise of inclusive governance, almost half of these loans were given to women; while the beneficiaries range from the youth to our senior citizens in active business. In spite of this, the Fund has assured me of their work to increase the level of female participation across all programmes, especially within Lagos Innovates.
“In addition, the Fund has ensured that all 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Community Development Areas (LCDAs) have felt its impact”.
The LSETF programmes, he said, has created over 25,000 new direct jobs created directly by these businesses in the state and that the multiplier effect of those businesses on the Lagos economy and the indirect jobs created is enormous.
“Apart from the jobs being created, I am especially pleased to see testimonials from some of our beneficiaries. I watched the video of Ibrahim Shuaib; a final year student of Dentistry at the Lagos State University Medical School. With a loan of N250,000, Ibrahim has not only grown his dry-cleaning business, employing over 20 people, but also started another business which his sister runs.
“I also read about Femi Oyedipe, whose chocolate production business, Loshes Chocolate, can now produce ten times more than before, employing more Lagosians as staff. Apart from employing more people, Loshes Chocolate makes it products from cocoa beans sourced from Ondo State, creating value for farmers outside Lagos. This is a very good example of the inter-state economic partnership Nigeria needs to grow its economy.
“Another LSETF programme that we are very proud of is the Lagos Employability Support Programme, under which we have trained 3,363 unemployed youth and over 1,100 of them are now either employed or running their own businesses”.
“You will all agree with me that the future is tech and our Employment Trust Fund is poised to make Lagos the leading destination for Africa’s most exciting talent and start-ups. Under the Lagos Innovates Programme, 75 start-ups have been awarded work space vouchers which provides their businesses with access to excellent infrastructure and a community where they can incubate and pursue their dream of becoming Africa’s emerging unicorns; without bearing the associated cost. We have also awarded a loan to one of the leading hubs, to expand and incubate more technology start-ups in the Lagos environs.