Lagos opens N25b trust fund for unemployed residents
Lagos State government yesterday signed the Employment Trust Fund Bill 2015 into law, opening the N25 billion loan scheme for unemployed and small scale business owners in the state.
The soft loan, which attracts a three per cent interest rate, is open to residents with valid registration with the Lagos State Residency Registration Agency (LASRRA).
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, while signing the law, said that the N25b four-year scheme would drastically reduce unemployment among residents.
Ambode said that the scheme would be in fulfillment of his election campaign promises. According to him, “The ETF will address the increasing rate of unemployment in the state. The State Government will be injecting N6.5 billion annually in the next four years into the fund, and this will amount to N25 billion.” He said an independent board of trustees would be constituted very soon to manage the fund for the state government.
Also speaking on the law, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudasiru Obasa, who was represented by his deputy, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, said that the bill marked the commencement of governance in the state. He noted that the increase in the rate of unemployment has become a source of concerns to the state government.
“It is the responsibility of the government to introduce strategies that would help address the issue. The government wished to address this through the new law. The law will provide soft loan that has between three and five per cent interest rates,” Eshinlokun-Sanni added.
The commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayinrinde, earlier said: “The fund will be administered as soft loans to bonafide residents of the state that desire facilities ranging from N100, 000 to N1 million or more.”
Ayorinde noted that the fund would be provided through joint contributions from the state government and the private sector.
Beneficiaries, he said, would be selected across the five divisions in the state – Lagos Island, Ikeja, Badagry, Epe and Ikorodu–in order to allow residents in every part enjoy the scheme.
“The state government’s desire is to allow enterprising residents, who do not have access to loans or other forms of finance enjoy repayable soft loans, to establish a business venture or rescue a struggling small concern,” he said.