The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), in its drive to boost economic growth through wealth creation and employment opportunities, has called for collaboration with key players in the private sector in order to expand its reach and impact.
Speaking at the maiden edition of LSETF‘s Employment Summit themed ‘Showcasing Leading Practices for job creation,’ Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, chairman, board of trustees, LSETF, said the LSETF was tasked with providing funding as well as leverage for businesses to thrive, adding that it had enabled capacity building, provided support and access to finance for budding entrepreneurs.
“The LSETF has been able to support over 16,000 individuals, providing loans for over 11,000 beneficiaries, generating employment and capacity enhancement trainings for over 5,000 and workplace voucher for 127 individuals,” she said. She pointed out that beneficiaries had been able to generate over 100, 000 jobs directly and indirectly.
Okauru said data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Lagos had been able to drive job creation and entrepreneurship higher than other states in the country and created the most jobs in the country resulting in a 6.7 percent drop in unemployment rate in the last quarter of 2018.
She urged stakeholders in the private sector to collaborate with the LSETF to boost its capability and reach among entrepreneurs as well as among those who can generate employment.
Babajide Sanwo-olu, governor, Lagos state, in his remarks, said that the goal of every forward- thinking government was to provide an enabling environment for productivity and prosperity to thrive. He said that this could be enabled by evolutionary economic advisory for wealth creation and employment generation which will allow sustainable improvement in the living standards of citizens.
Sanwo-Olu who was represented by Yetunde Arobieke, commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, said Lagos was an attractive hub for investment and a city of opportunities which called for the necessity to create an enabling environment as well as necessary amenities to serve the growing population.
“We are on a scheme to provide entrepreneurs and our productive population with the opportunity to build capacity drive for the benefits of women, children and everyone in the state,” he said.
He disclosed that as part of its mandate, the LSETF had disbursed N7.3 billion in loans and supported many businesses through its various innovative programmes which had driven a significant drop in the unemployment rate of the state.
Arobieke, in her own remarks, said the state government, through the LSETF, was taking another important step towards deepening efforts and approaches to galvanise innovative ways to expand capability to facilitate employment generation while stimulating the same across Nigeria and Africa at large.
Arobieke, who was represented by Boladele Dapo- Thomas, permanent secretary of the ministry, said unemployment was a global issue which also affected developed countries with global economic headwinds and a continuously increasing workforce.