Government, Wednesday, unveiled a N5 billion ‘Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme (LSETF-LEAP), in a bid to help businesses in the state recover as well as save and create more jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Executive Secretary/CEO, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Mrs. Teju Abisoye, described the LSETF-LEAP as a sector-specific intervention programme aimed at supporting MSMEs businesses, driving growth and enabling job creation opportunities across targeted sectors that have been severely affected by the pandemic.
She explained that the programme will provide access to affordable finance at a single-digit interest rate, enhance capacity building, foster market linkages and leverage business expansion opportunities for its beneficiaries.
According to her, some of the identified high-impact sectors with substantial employment creation opportunities include Education, Technology, Transport & Logistics, Healthcare, Renewable Energy and Agriculture, noting, however, that the Hospitality, Tourism, Creative and Entertainment Sectors have suffered a downturn that requires intervention that seeks to protect employment.
Abisoye averred that “Without any hint of doubt, MSMEs are central to the economic growth of any country. Hence, they will be instrumental to the economic recovery efforts following the COVID-19 epidemic within the Lagos economy”.
“With Lagos State currently contributing over 30 per cent of the national GDP, we must take the lead in reversing a national economic emergency. We are optimistic that these recovery programmes will not only produce accelerated outcomes but also, play significant roles in creating jobs, and thus, actualising our government’s quest towards “Rebuilding Lagos”, she added.
The Executive Secretary also disclosed that, in addition to providing support to the identified sectors, LSETF-LEAP would offer opportunities for its existing, performing-loan-beneficiaries to renew their facilities, sustain their businesses, save and create new job opportunities.
She, therefore, implored all interested Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises applicants to visit the LSETF website: www.lsetf.ng to apply.
Recall that the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) was established in 2016 by the State Government, with a mandate to promote entrepreneurship by improving access to finance, strengthening the institutional capacity of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), formulating policies and actively intervening to improve the business environment.
The agency also trains and places unemployed Lagos residents in jobs, while driving innovative solutions for businesses and residents within the Lagos ecosystem.