The Lagos State Government, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has kicked-off the cash for work programme for vulnerable people in the State with the aim of cushioning the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The programme is part of the state government’s response to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on vulnerable individuals and small business owners.
While speaking at the flag-off ceremony of the intervention programme held at the Ndubiusi Kanu Park, Alausa, Ikeja, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs Solape Hammond, said the project is a collaborative effort between the State government and UNDP with the support of the Japanese Government
She said the programme will provide grants to 945 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), to resuscitate their businesses which were affected by the pandemic and aftermath of the #EndSARS protest.
What Mrs Solape Hammond is saying
She said, “As the economic fallout threatens households across the State due to COVID-19, cash transfers to vulnerable families reduce risks to socio-economic challenges. This emergency cash transfer programme is designed to help families during this period and to ensure that household poverty does not translate to deprivations for children.’’
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Hammond revealed that the project is simultaneously ongoing across the Five Divisions of the State to complement Government’s efforts in deploying assistance to SMEs, the vulnerable and the poor people in the State.
On the significance of the initiative by the state government, the Special Adviser stated that the cash-based support programme will not only ensure that the essential needs of beneficiaries are met but also empower the most vulnerable to become self-reliant and participate in economic activities that boost local markets.
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She said the beneficiaries that would be engaged by the State government to provide volunteering services were selected across the various social ethnic groups and through the State’s social register for vulnerable people.
While expressing her appreciation to the United Nations Development Programme for its support, Mrs Hammond maintained that government will continue to partner other International Organisations, Non-Governmental Institutions and MDAs to sustain and expand its reach to more beneficiaries.
In his own remark at the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals, Mr. Lekan Fatodu, emphasised the need for citizens to embrace the government’s initiatives to improve their standards of living.
Fatodu said, “It takes a responsive government to conceive and implement this kind of initiative. With this, 2,400 families were giving hope for a better tomorrow, likewise, 950 businesses will be sustained to create more value to the economy.’’
What you should know
The Lagos State Government had initiated some intervention programmes to help cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on vulnerable individuals and businesses and the #EndSARS protests which led to the destruction of properties and loss of lives.
The state government had through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) launched a N5 billion economic recovery support for MSMEs, tagged, Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme (LEAP)
The programme aims at creating affordable access to funding for small businesses in Lagos State to grow, expand, create wealth and put people to work.
The state government had also set up a N1 billion seed capital for investment in the tourism and hospitality sector in the state. The N1 billion seed capital which is to be domiciled with the LSETF is to help drive new growth in that sector