The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), has created no less than 15,000 jobs within the last two years. This was disclosed on Tuesday by Mr. Akintunde Oyebode, the Executive Secretary.
He said that at least 8000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and businesses have been given approximately NGN6 billion since inception. LSETF was created by Governor Akinwumi Ambode in 2016. The sum of NGN25 billion was set aside for disbursement over a period of four years to provide entrepreneurs, artisans, traders and others with capital to boost their businesses thereby reducing unemployment and increasing wealth among the people.
According to Oyebode, since its commencement in 2016, the ETF has continued to grow the economy and create jobs through provision of credit facilities with minimal interest.
Mr. Oyebode said the scheme is targeted at creating 300,000 direct and 600,000 indirect jobs within three years. This it aims to achieve by supporting at least 100,000 MSMEs and also seeks to add over 200,000 new tax payers to the Lagos State’s tax net by 2019.
“The ETF is primarily targeted at MSMEs and I can tell you that in the last two years, we have been able to fund about 8,000 businesses with over N6billion. Our target is to ensure that we increase that number to at least 15,000 before the end of the year,” Oyebode said.
Oyebode said the target to create 300,000 direct and 600,000 indirect jobs was on target, given that least 15,000 direct jobs for skilled persons and thousands of other indirect jobs for unskilled persons have so far been created.
“The underlining factor is that people with genuine businesses are keying into the fund. We believe that when we empower one business owner with fund, he or she would require more hands and that translates to one or two persons off the labour market. At the end of the day, as their businesses are growing and expanding, the economy of the State is also recording appreciable growth,” he said.
The Executive Secretary said that in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and through the Lagos State Employability Support Project, the Lagos State Government has also concluded plans to produce 10,000 skilled persons within three years to cater for demand in key sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, construction, entertainment, garment making and tourism and hospitality.
“In addition, the project will place at least 6,000 trained persons in jobs and upgrade the equipment and improve the curriculum at two of Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB’s) Colleges,” Oyebode said.