By Yinka Kolawole
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has launched a N5 billion intervention initiative tagged, Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme, LSETF-LEAP, to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the state recover, save and create more jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative in Lagos, Executive Secretary/CEO, LSETF, Mrs Teju Abisoye, said that the programme will provide access to affordable finance at a single-digit interest rate, enhance capacity building, access to market linkages and leverage business expansion opportunities for its beneficiaries.
According to her, the Lagos State government, having identified MSMEs as the most affected group by the pandemic, mandated LSETF to provide the needed support to help businesses re-open and save jobs.
To this end, Abisoye said that the initiative is “a sector-specific intervention programme targeted at sectors that have been severely affected by the pandemic and have a high impact on job creation”.
Specifically, she said that the financial loan support will be allocated to education; tourism, hospitality, entertainment & culture; agriculture & agribusiness; existing beneficiaries loan renewals and; liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution channels.
“Without any inkling of doubt, MSMEs are central to the economic growth of any country. Hence, they will be instrumental to the economic recovery efforts following the COVID 19 epidemic, within the Lagos economy.
“With Lagos State currently contributing over 30 per cent of the national GDP, we must take the lead in reversing a national economic emergency. We are optimistic that these recovery programmes will not only produce accelerated outcomes but also play significant roles in creating jobs, and thus, actualising our government’s quest towards rebuilding Lagos,” she added.