By Adeze Ojukwu
Over eight billion naira has been disbursed to over 12,000 businesses, over the last five years, creating more than 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in Lagos State.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State said a quarter of the total funding has gone directly to youth-led businesses, across various communities in the state.
Sanwo-Olu announced this at the fourth Anniversary Webinar of the United States Government Exchanges Alumni Association(USGEAA).
Sanwo-Olu was the main speaker and guest of honour, while the US Consular General, Mr. Stephen Ibelli was the Keynote Speaker.
The theme was tagged: ‘Creating opportunities for youth participation in social and economic activities-The perspectives of Lagos State.’
President of USGEAA, Dr Jude Ememe gave the opening remarks, while award-winning broadcaster, Mr Soni Irabor was the moderator.
This was announced in a special report compiled the USGEAA Head of Media and Fellow of Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship, Mrs Adeze Ojukwu.
The governor highlighted various programmes and projects, by his administration to support young people in the state, according to Mrs Ojukwu.
Highlights of his speech are stated below: ‘A big focus of our policymaking is on building and developing the skills and capacity of our young people, thereby empowering them to take responsibility fprogramsg employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for themselves.’
‘Specific initiatives like the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), the Eko Excel programme, Eko Digital School, the Lagos State Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), among others, are targeted directly at enabling and empowering young people, to create the present and the future that they desire and deserve.’
‘The LSETF has disbursed more than eight billion Naira to over 12,000 businesses, over the last five years, creating more than 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in Lagos State. A quarter of the total funding has gone directly to youth-led businesses.
Last year, LSETF launched C.A.R.E.S, a six-million dollar stimulus program supported by the World Bank, to support MSMEs in Lagos State through the very disruptive economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.’
‘LSETF also has a youth training component, with more than 7,000 beneficiaries so far: in addition to the provision of workspace vouchers for start-ups, and student loans for the acquisition of digital skills.’
Highlight of the celebration, which attracted hundreds of fellows, consulate officials and professionals, was a special presentation on the diverse ventures undertaken by the sub-groups and fellows.