Lagos Nigeria: The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has now reached an advanced stage in the selection process for at least 1,000 beneficiaries in the pilot stage of its loan scheme.
The Fund launched a pilot of its much awaited loan schemes to support businesses in Lagos earlier in the month by sourcing applications from organizations like Fate Foundation, LEAP Africa, Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Women in Management, Business & Public Service (WIMBIZ), National Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) and the general public. In addition, the Fund also partnered with successful technology businesses like Paga, Konga and Max.ng, in addition to sourcing applications via its social media platforms. These applications were evaluated by the globally recognized consulting firm, to ensure the integrity of the process. The first batch of beneficiaries have now been selected, and will begin receiving their offer letters from December 22nd 2016.
Commenting on the ongoing pilot process, LSETF’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Akin Oyebode states; “It is critical for us to test our processes ahead of a full roll out next year. This will ensure we identify any flaws in our process and fix them before a full launch across the state. We are also in the process of setting up liaison offices in 20 LGAs, to bring the Fund’s activities closer to the people, and increase our points of representation to serve Lagos residents.”
The Fund is poised to provide support to at least 100,000 MSMEs; create at least 300,000 direct and up to 600,000 indirect jobs within the next 3 years. In addition, LSETF will also provide training and job placements for the unemployed; training and mentorship for SME owners; and make policy recommendations to improve the business environment in Lagos State.
Once the pilot phase is completed and reviewed, LSETF will roll out the loan schemes across Lagos State. This will be complemented with stakeholder sessions across 20 LGAs, where LSETF staff will educate applicants on the application process, and the eligibility criteria for its various schemes.