.As LSETF creates 182,000 jobs in 5yrs, upskills 12,000 youths
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government has expanded the net of employment opportunities for young people in the state with the injection of over N10 billion to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF in the last three years.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed this yesterday, during the Lagos Employment Summit, with the theme: ”Sustainable Job Creation Strategies: Collective Action and Prosperity for All,” held in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu, at the event, announced a 100 percent increment in capital subvention to LSETF-an an independently run agency established to provide financial support to business owners and entrepreneurs for wealth creation and to tackle unemployment.
The governor said his administration, in the last three years, had committed over N10 billion in grants to strengthen LSEFT’s activities, supporting 34,000 MSMEs through the intervention.
He explained that the state government committed such an amount to ensure more people got access to the fund and to have a 6.7 percent drop in the unemployment rate.
According to the governor, “We want to see about a 6.7 percent drop in the unemployment rate. We also want to make Lagos the most impressive job creation centre nationwide.
”We will try and double whatever it is that we are looking at so we want to challenge you with a lot more. We believe you have the capacity because you have demonstrated this in the last four years that given the opportunity, you can double these numbers.
”It is only by scaling those numbers that we can reduce the percentage of unemployment that we are seeing.
”We will give you the grants that you need, we will give the funding that you need to ensure that you can double it up, you can create the eco-space and the ability for you to be able to touch a lot more people quicker, faster and deeper,” he said.
The governor pledged to incorporate outcomes of the summit into the implementation of the State’s governing agenda.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube, said the unemployment rate in the state was fuelled by urban migration from other states and other nations into Lagos for opportunities, hope, and dreams of a better life.
Egube said the state remained the most populous state in Nigeria, with a population growth rate conservatively put at 3.2 percent per annum driven very heavily by urban migration.
”A high percentage of the migrants come with only their bags and bodies, unskilled and without a job and many without a proper place to stay.
”It is for this reason and the general state of the national and global economy that the unemployment rate in the state stands at 37.3 percent, with youth unemployment at about 42.5 percent.
”Resolving these challenges on a sustainable basis requires deep thinking, collaboration, and consultation with stakeholders to evolve ideas, policies, and initiatives, which when acted upon, should see us through,” he said.
LSETF Executive Secretary, Ms. Teju Abisoye, disclosed that 45 percent of the skilled labour force in the country was concentrated in Lagos, said participants at the summit would identify new trends and opportunities in diverse sectors and value chains that needed to be prioritised with the right investment.
Reeling out the impacts recorded by the agency in the last five years, Abisoye said LSETF, through its interventions, had created over 182,000 direct and indirect jobs in Lagos. She added that the agency had saved 50,000 direct jobs through support and business stimulation.
She said 12,335 young persons were trained in modern skills, 413 tech start-ups supported through soft financing, while 68,582 new taxpayers were added into the tax net of the state.
The Board Chairperson, LSETF, Mrs. Bola Adesola, said the surge in crime and the resultant insecurity challenges due to the lack of jobs and gainful engagement of the youths, had revealed that collective prosperity as a state and a nation depended on how sustainably jobs could be created.
Adesola said it was also imperative to note that the never-ending duty of job creation required all public and private stakeholders to actively collaborate, design, and develop resilient policies and strategies.