The Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji has implored the management of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF, to assist youths in sourcing and accessing SME loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria as part of its mandate towards reducing unemployment in the State.
Jaji stated this while receiving the LSETF team on a courtesy visit at her office on Tuesday, adding that there is much to be done in elevating the socio-economic status of residents, especially young entrepreneurs, in the State.
While stressing that the Agency must think outside the box as well as formulate policies for sourcing more funds as the State government cannot meet all the needs of the citizenry, she urged LSETF to liaise with other corporate and financial institutions to form a synergy in order reduce the unemployment rate in Lagos.
The SSG noted that the government is, however, ready to partner with stakeholders in providing the necessary empowerment tools to assist youths in the State to grow their businesses and be among top players in the economy of the State and Nigeria at large.
She added that the administration craves for support and suggestions from all stakeholders as the State has a lot of competing issues requiring funding, hence the need for the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to harness its resources towards achieving its goal.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mrs. Ifueko Okauru stated that the Trust is charged with the responsibility of providing loans and grants to users for the purpose of creating wealth and jobs while also impacting lives through the creation of business opportunities for residents in the State.
The Chairman noted that over 10,200 businesses have been birthed in the last three years while 4,200 small scale business owners have been assisted in the area of training and provision of work tools with start-up capitals.
While noting that the Trust also engages in market simulation for small businesses, provides leverage for loans and works with donor agencies and banks with a view to securing low-interest rates to set up young entrepreneurs, Okauru submitted that the LSETF is more determined to discharge its responsibility to the optimum for the benefit of Lagos State.