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Lagos State launches N5 billion post-COVID-19 economic recovery support for MSMEs

Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) launched a N5 billion economic recovery support for MSMEs.

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The Lagos State government through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) launched a N5 billion economic recovery support for MSMEs in the state, tagged “Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme (LEAP).”

This is in a bid to help businesses in Lagos recover from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was disclosed in a tweet on the Lagos State Government official Twitter handle.

The tweet reads “In a bid to help businesses in Lagos recover as well as save and create more jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lagos State Government, on Wednesday, unveiled N5 Billion Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme (LSETF-LEAP).

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At the unveiling, the Executive Secretary/CEO, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Mrs. Tejumade Abisoye, described the LSETF-LEAP as a sector-specific intervention programme aimed at supporting MSMEs businesses and driving growth across targeted sectors that have been severely affected by the pandemic.

She explained further, that the programme will provide access to affordable finance at a single-digit interest rate, enhance capacity building, foster market linkages and leverage business expansion opportunities for its beneficiaries.

According to her, some of the identified high-impact sectors with substantial employment creation opportunities include Education, Technology, Transport and Logistics, Healthcare, Renewable Energy and Agriculture.

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She noted, however, that the Hospitality, Tourism, Creative and Entertainment Sectors have suffered a downturn that requires intervention that seeks to protect employment. She, therefore implored all interested Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises applicants to visit the LSETF website to apply.

Backstory 

Nairametrics had also reported in September that the Lagos State government launched a N5billion support fund for low-cost private schools in the state to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus pandemic.

The Governor of Lagos State had explained that the facility will benefit 2,000 low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.

Why this matters

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With many small and medium scale businesses facing the grunt of the covid-19 induced lockdown, which caused a halt to most economic activities in the state, this initiative will help businesses acquire loan at a low-interest rate so as to help cushion the effect of the pandemic and accelerate business growth.

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CBN applauds stakeholders on closing financial inclusion gender gap

The CBN has commended stakeholders over concerted efforts in closing the financial inclusion gender gap in Nigeria.

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CBN Deputy Governor applauds stakeholders on their commitment to closing the financial inclusion gender gap in Nigeria.

The Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, and Chairperson of the National Financial Inclusion Technical Committee, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad, has applauded stakeholders for their concerted efforts in closing the financial inclusion gender gap in Nigeria. The disclosure was made through a recent Financial Inclusion newsletter released by the CBN.

Nairametrics had earlier reported the launching of the framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria, aimed at complementing existing initiatives of the CBN to expand access to finance for women in Nigeria.

In lieu of this, Mrs. Ahmad thanked all the partners; particularly, Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) and Women’s World Banking (WWB), for collaborating with the CBN on this very important initiative. She also appreciated the efforts of the FISIWG and those of other members of the National Financial Inclusion Technical Committee, comprised of public-private sector stakeholders.

While commending their hard work and dedication towards the successful development of the Framework, she also charged them to thoroughly review and drive the implementation of the Strategic Imperatives presented within the Framework.

(READ MORE: A new MSME Academy is now available for all Africa’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria)

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Why it matters

The framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria is in line with the commitment made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)’s Denarau Action Plan (DAP), which aims to halve the global financial inclusion of gender gap by 2021.

What you should know

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The Framework is meant to compliment some of the existing initiatives of the CBN to advance access to finance for women, some of these initiatives are;

The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF), which earmarked 60% of the fund to women and women-owned enterprises.

The establishment of the Financial Inclusion Special Interventions Working Group (FISIWG) as part of the National Financial Inclusion Governance structure, to address issues relating to the financial inclusion of Women, Youth and Persons with disabilities.

The Deputy Governor highlighted that about 134,000 women have accessed 62% of the MSMEDF, while over N9.5billion has been disbursed to over 3,600 women through the Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Equity Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS). Women have also significantly benefitted from other interventions such as; Textile Sector Intervention Facility, Real Sector Support Facility, and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme.

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Lagos State begins recruitment for Agripreneurship programme

The Lagos State Government commences the recruitment of eligible and interested candidates for its Lagos Agripreneurship Programme.

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Lagos State begins recruitment for Agripreneurship programme, Sanwo-Olu confirms Abisola Olusanya as new Agriculture commissioner

The Lagos State Government has commenced the recruitment of eligible and interested candidates for the Batches 4, 5, and 6 of its Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP), under its Agriculture-based Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES).

This was disclosed by Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, according to the press release issued by the State Government.

READ: Mile-2 to National Theatre section of Lagos Blue Line Rail project is 98% completed – Contractor

Ms. Abisola Olusanya noted that the programme was in furtherance of the State Government’s objective of training no fewer than 15,000 youths and women in the various agricultural value chains by the year 2023.

She pointed out that the one-month training exercise is aimed at improving capacity, creating wealth, and employment in the agricultural value chains – poultry, piggery, aquaculture and vegetables.

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According to her, the strategic inclusion of the LAP Programme would efficiently reduce unemployment, create jobs and alleviate poverty in the State, as well as attract and pay more attention to the creation of jobs for women in agribusiness.

READ: First City Monument Bank announces the FCMB Agritech EPIC Pitch 2020, in partnership with Passion Incubator

Why this matters
According to the information contained in the press release, the training is expected to play a key role in the creation of 2000 Agro-Entrepreneurs who would, in turn, become job creators, promote food security, improve nutrition and general well-being of Lagosians, as well as create at least 4000 indirect jobs per beneficiary annually.

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The programme would also enhance economic activities of surrounding communities, curb the issues of unemployment, and reduce the crime rate within the State.

The initiative is an avid step towards achieving the State’s target of producing at least 25% of the food consumed by residents before the end of the year 2025.

READ: Lagos says 2020 land use charge law is people friendly, introduces self-billing method

What you should know

  • The Lagos Agripreneurship Programme is specifically tailored for men between the ages of 18 and 35 years and women between the ages of 18 and 55 years.
  • Interested and eligible candidates must have a minimum of Senior Secondary School Certificate and must have a passion for agriculture.
  • Candidates are to obtain application forms free of charge at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe; Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority, Oko Oba, Agege; Lagos Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority, Odogunyan, Ikorodu; Coconut House, Mowo, Badagry and Ministry of Agriculture Area Office, Ajah, Eti Osa between Tuesday, 24th November and Tuesday, 8th December.
  • Candidates are expected to collect and submit application forms between November 24 and December 8, 2020.
  • Interested participants are expected to sit for a written examination on Monday and Tuesday, 14th and 15th of December, 2020, while oral interviews would take place on Friday and Saturday, 18th and 19th December, 2020.
  • Shortlisted successful candidates would start the formal training at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe, on Tuesday, 5th of January, 2021.

READ: DPR shuts down 85 gas plants in Lagos for illegal operations

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What they are saying

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Speaking about the programme, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya said:

Following the training of a total of 400 participants under three batches of the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme, L.A.P, Lagos State will begin the recruitment and shortlisting of interested candidates for the Batches 4, 5 and 6 of the Programme.

READ: Lagos designs eligibility form for businesses to access N1billion seed capital

“The current reality and exigencies of job creation for the teeming youth population and attainment of food security requires that a more aggressive, strategic and efficient approach be employed in the training and empowerment of women and youths if Lagos State is to achieve a significant reduction of unemployment, create more jobs and wealth and also significantly enhance food security in the State by the year 2023.

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AfCFTA: Focus on manufacturing will boost diversification goals – FG

FG has stated that the AfCFTA will provide the platform for a robust focus and support for the manufacturing sector.

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FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans, FG says 174,574 successfully register for N75 billion MSME survival fund in 48 hours

The Federal Government announced its commitment to Nigeria’s manufacturing sector and says the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will provide the platform for Nigeria’s diversification dreams, with a robust focus and support for the manufacturing sector.

This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investments, Amb. Mariam Katagum, a commemoration of the 2020 Africa Industrialization Day (AID) in Abuja. The theme is: “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization in the AfCFTA and COVID 19 Era.”

Tuesday’s event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investments (FMITI) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The Minister disclosed the FG is aware of the challenges imposed on Nigerian manufacturers due to the pandemic and revealed the FG is doing its best in terms of viable policies, grants, and infrastructure.

The FMITI is a willing partner in providing the necessary enabling environment that will further stimulate industrialization, accelerate domestic and foreign direct investments,” she said.

“It will as well as ensure a coordinated and integrated approach to Nigeria’s Trade and Industrial policy. This year’s event provides the opportunity to deeply reflect on the state of the industrial sector and the apparent weaknesses which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“It has become critical, more than ever before for governments at all levels in Africa to dedicate more time, energy, and resources for the growth and development of all categories of industries in the continent.

“A critical testimony to our effective responses to issues was evidenced at the onset of COVID-19 when the FMITI set up an Emergency Operation Center (EOC), which guaranteed unhindered production of goods and services in the industrial sector.

“To complement and sustain these efforts, we are repositioning the ministry to establish a similar response mechanism in all our industrial activities as a buffer to cushion the effects of the COVID- 19 Pandemic,” she said.

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(READ MORE: AfCFTA: States should take advantage of continental free trade – FG)

The Minister added that industrialization will boost Africa’s GDP and job prospects, especially with the ratification of the AfCFTA. She also said that a national focus on manufacturing with the African free trade deal will boost Nigeria’s diversification agenda and move towards a non-oil economy.

It is obvious that the implementation of AfCFTA, with a robust focus and support for the manufacturing sector will provide the platform for our quest for diversification to a prosperous non-oil dependent economy.

“Let me assure you that the Federal Government of Nigeria is geared up to meeting the demands of the enlarged continental market, which will be fostered by AfCFTA.

“This will attract more foreign direct investments into key industries and sectors of our economy, especially, where we possess comparative and competitive advantages.

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“The benefits of AfCFTA are quite enormous, some of which include increased food security, through reduction of the rate of protection on trade in agricultural produce amongst African countries,” she said.

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(READ MORE: AfCFTA: Continental free trade will reduce value erosion of naira – FG)

What you should know 

The Federal Government announced that it has ratified Nigeria’s membership to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), ahead of the December 5, 2020 deadline. The agreement goes into effect from the 1st of January 2021.

Yewande Sadiku, CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said in September that Nigeria was more ready for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) due to her domestic market manufacturing value addition capacity, which is 7 times the average of the top 20 economies in Africa and other.

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