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6,462 beneficiaries get N5.22bn in Lagos under ETF as 10,000 prepare for training

6,462 beneficiaries get N5.22bn in Lagos under ETF as 10,000 prepare for training

- So far, 6,462 people have benefitted from N5.22 billion under the ETF programme in Lagos state

- Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf says this amount is part of the N25 billion earmarked for the scheme

- Akinbile-Yussuf gives detailed explanation of other successes recorded by the state government

The Lagos state government on Thursday, May 10, confirmed that 6,462 residents with proven business ideas have so far benefitted about N5.22 billion from the Employment Trust Fund (ETF) designed to grow the economy and create jobs through provision of credit facilities with minimal interest.

The state commissioner for wealth creation and employment, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, said the amount so far disbursed constituted a huge part of the total N5.98 billion approved for 8,229 beneficiaries since it began disbursement in 2017.

Under the ETF, the Ambode government earmarked N25 billion to be disbursed 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.

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Akinbile-Yussuf said: “In fulfillment of the Lagos state government’s mandate, the Fund has now disbursed N5.22 billion to 6,462 beneficiaries, out of the approved loans totaling N5.98 billion for 8,229 beneficiaries received.”

She said in the period under review, the board of ETF approved loans totaling N627,053,826.15 for 643 beneficiaries under the batch four of the scheme, while in batches five, six, seven and eight, N924,696,671.00, N979,704,570.31, N443,859,457.60 and N1,013,485,058.69 were respectively disbursed to 5, 813 beneficiaries.

“For batch one of 2018, the Board approved loans totaling N492,798,560.90 for 1,753 beneficiaries (44 Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), 1,306 Medium Enterprise (ME) and 403 MES). The successful applicants have been contacted to meet the conditions that precede the disbursement of their loans,” she said.

The commissioner further said the government launched innovation-driven enterprise program tagged ‘Lagos Innovates’ where access to high quality infrastructure, learning and networks were provided, adding that the projection was to cement the place of Lagos as the leading destination for startups in Africa.

She said the government, through the Lagos State Employability Support Project, has also firmed up 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,” she said.

The commissioner said government developed virtual market which is an online portal created to connect artisans and tradesmen with customers in need of goods and services in a secure environment, revealing that the ministry had commenced partnership with different stakeholders to actualize the initiative.

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According to her, under the tradesmen and artisans capacity building scheme, a total of 1,000 were retrained in 2017 to enhance their efficiency, competitiveness and productivity, while 40 members of Lagos State House Painter Association were trained and engaged by Kansai Plascon Nigeria, as well as 50 others were trained in partnership with Ruff n Tumble under the sustainable development programme.

She also said the government introduced graduate internship programme through the ministry where a total of 1800 candidates were screened in 2017 out of which 910 were deployed to various private organizations with the view to creating a network contact between the off-takers and the interns. earlier reported that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode recently pleaded with Nigerians abroad to return home and contribute their quota to the development of the country just as he received an endorsement ahead of the 2019 election in Nigeria.

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