LSETF, USADF Sign $10m Deal to Support Young Entrepreneurs

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Peter Uzoho

In line with its mandate to provide employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United States African Development Fund (USADF) to support 15,000 youths in the state.

Through this MoU, both parties would provide equal sum of $2 million annually for five years ($10m in total), to provide skill development and internship opportunities to youths between the ages of 18-35, yearly, with women representing at least 50 per cent of the beneficiaries.

According to a statement, the signing ceremony took place in Washington DC, United States of America in the presence of top executives of both agencies, members of the U.S Congress, partners and international media.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Chairman, LSETF’s Board of Trustees, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru was quoted to have expressed her optimism on the impact of the partnership.

“This USADF-LSETF collaboration will enable the expansion of world-class vocational training centers available in the state; the development of 15, 000 skilled youth for employment into targeted sectors; the provision of internship cost subsidies to employers and; track real time placement of unemployed youth into jobs,” she said.

Also in her remarks, according to the release, the Acting Executive Secretary, LSETF, Teju Abisoye, said: “With the recent Labor Force Report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showing a 6.7 per cent drop in unemployment rate as well as Lagos state providing the largest number of 740,146 jobs in the third quarter of 2018, it is obvious that the deliberate employment intervention policies of the Lagos State Government are finally impacting on job creation.

“I am pleased to have USADF join us to create more jobs for our youth, whilst sustainably decreasing our alarming unemployment rate”.
Also commenting on the partnership, the President and Chief Executive Officer of USADF, C. D Glin, said he was proud to be in partnership with the LSETF, whose programmes have been independently verified to be making impact on the lives of young Nigerians.

“This USADF-LSETF partnership further expands our existing commitment to investing in high impact initiatives hinged on generating income, providing financial solutions and causing a change in the African economy,” he added.

The initiative includes training of participants and provision of internship opportunities over a period of six months and was expected to result in sustainable job and entrepreneurship opportunities.