Sanwo-Olu Approves Moratorium on N2.8bn Loan to MSMEs

Sanwo Olu

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu wednesday announced a three months moratorium on loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) granted by Lagos State government.

Sanwo-Olu said the sum is a reprieve of about N410 million.

The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile said that there will be no interest payment on the N2.8billion loans given out by the Lagos State Employment Trust Funds (LSETF).

According to him, the move is part of the State Government’s new palliatives to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on micro and medium-scale businesses.

The loan beneficiaries, who cut across various sectors of the economy, now have their repayment of principal and accruing interest deferred.

“At LSETF, we have 1,170 SMEs and 2,160 Micro Enterprises across sectors in agriculture, education, information technology, food processing, and transport with total outstanding loan balance of over N2.8 billion.

“We are granting a three months moratorium on principal and interest worth over N410 million. This will go a long way to reduce the pressure on these businesses as a result of the economy freeze occasioned by COVID-19.”

Sanwo-Olu stressed that the state would be providing a free meal to 100,000 young people across communities in Lagos on a daily basis.

The daily feeding scheme, Sanwo-Olu said, would be decentralised, with each local council having its food kitchen domiciled at a pre-arranged location agreed upon by residents. The governor also said residents of each local council would know the food vendors to be engaged by the Government for the feeding programme.

Besides, he said additional 250,000 vulnerable persons already identified in social registers of the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) would be getting conditional cash transfer as a form of support for them in the period of the lockdown. The beneficiaries, he said, will not be part of the people that had already got relief food packages from the Government in previous weeks.

The governor said the new palliatives were carefully drawn out to bring succor to greater number of residents eking out a living from daily wages. He disclosed that the State met its set target of reaching out to 200,000 households in the first segment of the Food Stimulus Package coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Community Development Associations (CDAs), pointing out that the State Government still had a large cache of food items in its warehouse to be shared among various segments of the residents.

Those that will benefit from the new food distribution, Sanwo-Olu said, will include religious bodies, traditional worshippers, ethnic groups, political parties’ members, artisans and members of tertiary institutions within the State.

He said: “We have been able to meet the 200,00 households that we planned for in the first segment of the Food Stimulus Package programme, and we still have a large quantity of food items in our procurement and warehouses. In this regard, we have identified various stakeholders that we will be giving these palliatives to in large quantity.