• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Lagos launches Market Trader Money initiative to empower small businesses

Sanwo-Olu delivers 172 roads

To lift more Lagosians out of poverty and empower small businesses in the food system to scale, the Lagos state government has launched a N750 million Market Trader Money Grant initiative for 15,000 beneficiaries across markets in the state.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, who unveiled the initiative yesterday, said the project was conceptualised as a stop-gap measure of the state government to empower small-scale traders in the food system by providing them financial support to expand their businesses, thereby fostering economic growth and improving the lives of many within the state.

According to him, it will ensure sustainable livelihoods and facilitate business expansion for 15,000 traders who occupy a strategic position in the state’s economic pyramid and food distribution network.

He said Lagos has an estimated population of 24 million people, a food system transaction value of N6 trillion annually and is in the process of establishing a dynamic food market system under its Food Systems Transformation Agenda.

“Today’s event, which flags off the implementation of the Lagos Market Trader Money, will support 15,000 market Traders with a sum of N50,000 each,” he said.

He explained that the beneficiaries were identified by the state’s agricultural field officers serving each LGA and LCDA in collaboration with the Iyaloja/Babaloja general and market masters of each LGA/LCDA.

The governor noted that the beneficiaries were selected through a methodical process targeted at 200 in each LGA and LCDA in addition to 50 beneficiaries selected by the Iyaloja/Babaloja general in each LGA and LCDA, making it a total of 14,250 market traders.

The beneficiaries left to make it 15,000 were selected from markets within the barracks and military formations across the states.

To ensure fairness in the selection process, the governor said the beneficiaries were drawn from across all the geopolitical zones of the country – 11,039 from the Southwest, 914 from the South-east, 868 from the South-south, 1,710 from North-central, 373 from the North-west and 107 from the North-east.

Women account for 74 percent of the beneficiaries and men for the remaining 26 percent, 33.7 percent of the total are below 40 years while 66.3 percent are 40 and above.

“This goes to show the social inclusiveness in the implementation of the initiative,” the governor said.

“We believe that this gesture will go a long way to actualize the goal of transforming the Food systems in the State and stimulate economic activities in our various food markets in line with our administration’s THEMES+ Developmental Agenda.”

Also speaking at the launch, Abisola Olusanya, commissioner for Agriculture, said the Lagos Market Trader Money initiative is part of the government’s efforts towards ensuring sustainable livelihoods and wealth creation for traders across the state.

She added that it is also part of the state’s commitment to the development of the downstream segment of food & agricultural value chains which centres on markets and market access.

“This is because Lagos is the largest market city-state in sub-Saharan Africa,” she said. “The support that would be extended today is targeted at expanding the capacity of the beneficiaries to off-take more produce from our farmers thereby catalysing increased food production in and outside the state.”