Lagos State Government has called on all artisans and tradesmen in the State to join relevant associations of their vocation for increased patronage and for easy access to government support.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr. Abdul Ahmed Mustapha, made the call during the 7th edition of the Tradesmen and Artisans Stakeholders’ Forum under the aegis of Lagos State Council of Tradesmen and Artisans (LASCOTA).
Mustapha said that the Ministry had recorded improvement in the registration of the artisans since its inception last year but lamented that the number of registered artisans in the State does not match the huge statistics of tradesmen and artisan doing businesses across the metropolis.
He said that the Ministry has also been at the forefront of facilitating beneficial programmes from both the State government and at Federal level for the benefit of registered members of LASCOTA as well as provided relevant information and opportunities towards enhancing their various trades.
The Permanent Secretary added that the Ministry has always advocated for the interest of LASCOTA in the disbursement of the Employment Trust Fund, provided relevant training programmes and work places (incubation centres) among others.
Head, Entrepreneurship Development Department in the Ministry, Mrs. Taiwo Abiose, said that the yearly forum had usually served as a basis on which government makes its decisions as it affects members of the informal sector.
“This stakeholders’ forum is the 7th in the series but the first since the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment was created last year. It avails us the opportunity of reviewing existing policies of the State government, analyse challenges and offer solutions where necessary,” she added.
The President of LASCOTA, Mr. Nurudeen Buhari, in his remarks appreciated the various gestures of the State government at improving the standards of the association but sought for more assistance for the members, saying that through these various interventions of government, other artisans who are yet to join the association would be encouraged to do so.
He expressed confidence that in no distant future, the incidence of artisans from neighbouring countries taking over jobs that could be handled by members of the association would become history.
Officials from the Ministry of Health and Lagos Inland Revenue Service, LIRS advised members of LASCOTA to embrace the health insurance initiative being introduced by the government as well as continue to remit their taxes appropriately.