By Solomon Elusoji
As part of efforts to reduce the rate of unemployment in Lagos state, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) have signed a $4million partnership agreement to equip up to 10,000 Lagosians with relevant skills for employment.
Speaking at a press conference held at the LSETF office in Lagos, the Executive Secretary of the Fund, Akin Oyebode, noted that the partnership was necessitated by the significant skills deficit of the unemployed population.
“We will be training people to gain relevant skills and partnering private employers to ensure that the skills being taught have employment merit.
“We are hoping that this partnership will be a model for other states, and even other African countries, on how to combat unemployment”, Oyebode said.
Under the agreement, the LSETF is expected to contribute $3million to the partnership, while the UNDP would provide $1million.
The UNDP Country Manager, Ms. Mandisa Mashologu, while commending the LSETF for its performance so far in helping to create employment in Lagos state, noted that the United Nations agency was very pleased to sign the agreement.
“We will be targeting youths between the ages of 18 and 35, and also ensuring that women are well represented,” she said.
She added: “Our objective is to match skills and labour with key growth sectors.”
Meanwhile, Oyebode has announced that N1.6 billion has been disbursed from the N25billion fund.
“This is a clear sign that we are willing to fund willing entrepreneurs,” he said.
The LSETF was established by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law 2016 to provide financial support to residents of Lagos State, for job, wealth creation and to tackle unemployment.