The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has announced a moratorium on loan repayment for the beneficiaries of all its Loan and Hub Financing Programmes designed for micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) and technology start-ups in the state.
The agency explained that the move was aimed at cushioning the social-economic impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria,
The Acting Executive Secretary of LSETF, Teju Abisoye, said the relief and palliative measure, which targets over 11,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the programme took into cognisance the impact of the shutdown of businesses.
According to her, the shutdown was in compliance with the social distancing directives by the state and federal governments in the effort to tackle the pandemic and prevent the chain of transmission from person-to-person contacts in public places.
She added that in compliance with the social distancing directives and the consequential cessation of all movement in the state, LSETF would be suspending its ‘Lagos Innovates Workspace Vouchers Programme’ for a month.
The programme was aimed at supporting and facilitating access to well-equipped workspaces and learnings for potential innovators and founders of start-ups in the Lagos tech ecosystem.
Abisoye said: “We are passionate and committed to enabling every productive resident in Lagos to dream, grow and succeed in their endeavours.
“We are keen to help them get access to affordable financial and other institutional support they need to create wealth and employment for our youth, while significantly contributing to building a 21st Century Economy for Lagos in alignment with the state government’s THEMES agenda.
“We understand that to do this, we must engender an enabling environment for small businesses to operate and thrive. In recognition of the difficulty that businesses may encounter this period, we understand that many of them will not be able to meet their loan repayment obligations.
“Therefore, we hope this announcement will serve as a spark of optimism in anticipation of a quick return to normalcy and business continuity. We also urge them to adhere strictly to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the relevant health authorities in Nigeria as we all work together to end this pandemic”.
The executive secretary also noted, “that this palliative measure is open to performing loan beneficiaries and those with past-due obligations of not more than 60 days.
“Also, the applicants must complete a loan repayment moratorium form ahead of securing a written acceptance of the approved loan moratorium”.