Hamzat: We’ll Sustain Ambode’s Employment Fund

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Segun James

The governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu will sustain the State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) if elected on March 2, 2019, the party’s deputy governorship candidate, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat has said.

Hamzat, former Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure in the state, added that Sanwo-Olu would equally sustain the State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), which he said, was set up stem the rising incidents of crime in the state.

He gave the assurance during a live programme on the Television Continental (TVC), in response to questions and comments by the callers during the programme.

With the establishment of the LSETF in 2015, Ambode had created no fewer than 15,000 jobs while at least 8000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) accessed about N6 billion.

Originally, the fund was set up to grow the economy and create jobs through provision of credit facilities with minimal interest. The Fund is targeted at creating 300,000 direct and 600,000 indirect jobs within three years.

Under four years, Ambode designed the fund to support at least 100,000 MSMEs and add over 200,000 new tax payers to the Lagos State’s tax net by 2019.

But during the live programme yesterday, Hamzat emphasised the importance attached to infrastructure development by the incoming administration, saying if his party wins the election, security, employment, provision of social amenities will take preeminence in the scheme of things.

Coincidentally, according to him, my principal and myself understand the enormity of challenges ahead of us, and providentially, both of us have the experience and understanding of what will make our slogan: ‘For Greater Lagos’ a reality.’

In view of the fact that private sector drives the economy of any serious nation, including the small-scale enterprises, Hamzat said it became imperative “to ensure security of live and properties, and by extension, make funds accessible to the artisans, traders and others with genuine business men and women in those categories.”

On the issue of education, health and employment, he assured the residents that plans are underway to upscale quality of education, employment opportunities and provision of social amenities like water supply, among others.

Responding to the insinuations made by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP,), Mr. Jimi Agbaje that his party was out to deliver Lagos from bandage, Hamzat described the statement as not only unfortunate, but borne out of ignorance.

Rhetorically, Hamzat asked, “Where were these people when Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was fighting for special status for Lagos state, the campaign Senator Oluremi Tinubu took to the Senator?

“What was the contribution of PDP leaders to the development of Lagos State, when former president Olusegun Obasanjo seized Lagos fund for years? Do they talk?

“When we want to construct Lekki-Epe-Eti-Osa expressway, it took us six years to get approval by President Umaru Yar’Adua of the blessed memory. So, it is not surprising that its only when elections come that the likes of Agbaje always remember that Lagos is in their imaginary bandage,” he explained.