In line with its quest for sustenance of its operations and to ensure itsÂ programmesÂ reach more unemployed youths, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), an initiative of the Lagos state government, has launched a funding partnershipÂ programmeÂ targette
The Fund,Â which already has N25 billionÂ commitmentÂ from the Lagos state government, said in a statement at the weekend that it plansÂ to double the figure through the funding partnership arrangement as it seeks to expand its operations to benefit more businesses and people in the state.
The LSETF, which is backed by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law 2016, has a strategic target to create and sustain 300,000 direct and up to 600,000 indirect jobs by 2019, provide loans to at least 100,000 MSME by 2019.
Â Commenting on the call for partnership, LSETFâ€™s Executive Secretary, Mr. AkinÂ OyebodeÂ cited a National Bureau of Statistics report,Â which showed that 35 per cent of Nigeria’s productiveÂ population areÂ either unemployed or underemployed.
He added:Â â€œThis is especially worrisome when the youth, have an unemployment/underemployment rate of over 50 per cent. This means one of every two persons under the age of 35, are unable to access sustainable employment.
â€œThe LSETF has been working to combat the employment scourge in the state through its variousÂ programmes; such as its single-digit interest bearing (5%) loan schemes to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) fund their growth and consequently create job opportunities for the people of Lagos state.
â€œIn addition, youth who have completed vocational trainings can also access loans in the micro business start-up program to help them start theirÂ own small businesses, whilst the unemployed can get training and subsequent job placements opportunities.â€Â
Â However, to ensure the LSETF creates as many jobs as possible, the statement said the Fund would require additional funding from individuals, privateÂ organisations, donor agencies and other partners.
It revealed that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) had already set the ball rolling in this direction by entering into a $4 million partnership with the LSETF to provide support to its Employability Program.Â
The agreement, which was signed in MayÂ 2017Â will see the UNDP and LSETF commit substantial financial and technical resources to theÂ Lagos StateÂ Employability Support Project between May 2017 and April 2019. This partnership was aimed at training over 10,000 youth in the state.
The project is expected to improve the quality of vocational trainingÂ programmesÂ for the manufacturing, health care, construction, entertainment, tourism and hospitality sectors; upgrade training content to make theÂ labourÂ force more competent; strengthen vocational instructor training and improve the capabilities of theÂ participating technical colleges and vocational training centers (VTCs) to plan and manage the trainingÂ programmes.