The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Mr. Akintunde Oyebode, has disclosed that at least 8000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and allied businesses accessed approximately N6 billion since the establishment of the Fund in 2016.
In addition, the SMEs management expert said that about 15,000 jobs hadbeen created by the Fund in the last two years.
Oyebode gave these figures while speaking to journalists and some Masters degree research students in his office in Lagos.
The Fund’s Executive Secretary said that the Fund targeted creating 300,000 direct and 600,000 indirect jobs within three years, by supporting at least 100,000 MSMEs, while it also seeks to add over 200,000 new tax payers to the Lagos State’s tax net by 2019.
He explained: “The ETF is primarily targeted at MSMEs and I can tell you that in the last two years, we have been able to fund about 8,000 businesses with over N6billion. Our target is to ensure that we increase that number to at least 15,000 before the end of the year,” he said.
According to him, the impact of the fund is already being felt as it has gone a long way to create at least 15,000 direct jobs for skilled persons and thousands of other indirect jobs for unskilled persons, saying that efforts are being intensified to achieve its initial target of job creation.
Oyebode clarified further: “The underlining factor is that people with genuine businesses are keying into the fund. We believe that when we empower one business owner with fund, he or she would require more hands and that translates to one or two persons off the labour market.
“At the end of the day, as their businesses are growing and expanding, the economy of the State is also recording appreciable growth,” he added.
He pointed out that apart from the ETF, the state government through the Lagos State Employability Support Project (LSESP), had concluded plans also with some multinational companies and in affiliation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to produce 10,000 skilled persons within three years.
The LSETF boss explained the purpose of the (LSESP) iniatiative was that the trained workforce would cater for manpower need in key sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, construction, entertainment, garment making and tourism and hospitality.
He hinted further that in addition to that, the project would 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.