By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Lagos State Government has disbursed atleast N7 billion to Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, targeted at contributing to growth of the economy.
The state government added the funds disbursed through Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) programme, has within three years created over 25,000 new jobs in the state.
The funds disbursed were disclosed yesterday by the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, while presenting cheques to another batch of over 2,000 beneficiaries in Ikeja.
While reeling out a breakdown of the beneficiaries, Ambode said: “Before today, which is 2,000 beneficiaries, we had a total of 3,652 female loan beneficiaries to the 4,280 male loan beneficiaries.”
The Governor added that the beneficiaries of the LSETF programmes range from the youth to senior citizens in active business in all councils, saying, the positive stories emanating from beneficiaries were pleasing to note.
“A very big validation of this programme we have embarked upon comes from the over 25,000 new direct jobs created directly by these businesses in our State. This does not include the multiplier effect of those businesses on the Lagos economy and the indirect jobs created,” he added.
While charging the beneficiaries to use the funds to grow their businesses and pay back as at when due, Ambode also expressed optimism about the sustainability of the scheme, saying it was instructive that the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had already expressed commitment to the initiative.
While appreciating various agencies and institutions who partnered with the LSETF to bring about the successes so far recorded, Omoigui-Okauru also urged others to take a cue from such by collaborating where and when necessary to further advance the objectives of the initiative.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Adeoye Olumide of Jetco Global Farms whose company was granted N3.750million loan, said aside that he applied and got the loan without knowing anybody in government, the multiplier effect of the scheme was amazing as more people would be employed to his business.
“This is so unbelievable and it is so amazing. The domino effect on the entire value chain with this empowerment is very laudable and very commendable,” Olumide said.