The Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, on Tuesday, distributed 12,000 COVID-19 relief packages, comprising of 8,000 packs of noodle and 4,000 sacks of staple food to the leadership of Lagos State Council for Tradesman and Artisans (LASCOTA) for re-distribution to registered members.
Addressing the representatives of the beneficiaries during the distribution of the relief packages at the Lagos State Technical College, Agidingbi, Ikeja, the Honourable Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke stated that the gesture was a reflection of the goodwill of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu towards the informal sector.
Arobieke noted that the food items were distributed to ameliorate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the informal sector practitioners, adding that the State Government sees the informal sector as very important to the actualisation of the T.H.E.M.E.S developmental agenda, hence the reason for the extension of the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) relief packages to artisans and tradesmen in the State.
“This is part of the many initiatives that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration is extending to the informal sector because the group is vital in the drive to achieve the Greater Lagos dream for everyone. Mr. Governor is very particular about this sector. I can assure you that very soon artisans will be able to benefit from the unconditional cash transfers being provided by the Federal Government, in collaboration with the State Government, to vulnerable Lagosians”, Arobieke said.
According to the Commissioner, some of the many initiatives adopted by the present administration to bring succour to the sector include granting of subvention to artisans, upskilling and training of artisans in order to improve their various businesses, enhance their skills and provide access to loan facilities, among others.
Describing the relief materials as an all-in-one package, Arobieke disclosed that each of the 4,000 LASG/CACOVID sacks distributed contain 5kgs of Sugar, 1kg of Salt, 10kgs of Rice, 5kgs of Garri and a carton of Pasta, apart from the 8000 cartons of noodles.
The Commissioner, however, enjoined artisans in the State to register with the Ministry in order to have a database for all members of LASCOTA, revealing that a plan is being designed for a virtual market where the services of artisans can be sourced online by prospective clients.
In her address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Boladele Dapo-Thomas, enjoined artisans in the State to take advantage of the many initiatives provided to enhance their skills, adding that it will also help to improve their lifestyles and economic development of Lagos.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, the President of LASCOTA, Mr. Nurudeen Buhari, expressed appreciation to the Lagos State Government, CACOVID as well as the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment for the gesture, noting that it will go a long way in alleviating the effect of COVID-19 on beneficiaries in the State.