A beneficiary of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) loan facility and Managing Partner of Inland Royal Group of Companies, Mr. Ikpoko Irikefe Scott, has advised the agency to engage the services of management experts to help in monitoring utilisation of loans given to entrepreneurs in the state. He noted that the management of the fund by beneficiaries was key in the realisation of its objectives.
Scott who got a loan of N500, 000 from the fund, also suggested that the agency should allow applicants to have the exact amount requested for rather than giving them less, saying some of the applicants were given less than the amount they requested for. He stressed that this would enable them to meet up with their targets.
The entrepreneur whose business consists of Inland Royal Consulting, Inland Royal School of Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition, Inland Royal Waters (sachet and bottle water manufacturing company), and Inland Royal Autos, an automobile company, said he got the loan to scale up his water manufacturing business, noting that the facility had been useful to his business.
â€œThe loan management is very key. Presently there is no problem with the application and processing of the loans. I think the LSETF can get more management consultants that will monitor the utilisation of these funds and advise beneficiaries on the importance of the loans and why they need to pay back. I also feel there is need to do continuous training for these set of people.
â€œAlthough there is a verification process for applicants, I think it is better to give the amount applied for to the entrepreneurs. It is quite difficult if you apply for N500, 000 and you are given less than that. Again, weâ€™re in a time of serious competition and it is only those who have the needed fund available to them that will do better in the competitionâ€, Scott said.
According to him, within seven months, the company had recorded growth of about 40 to 75 per cent since the loan was accessed as they were able to purchase rolls used in the production of sachet and bottle water.
Scott added: Before now we had three people as our employees in the pure water factory who were working on the machines, but at the moment, we have about 13 people working in the factory. We want to get more people to work and this can only happen when we get more money to inject in the business.â€
He commended the state government for establishing the Employment Trust Fund to help entrepreneursâ€™ businesses to thrive and reduce the rate of youth unemployment in the state.