THE Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has assured Lagosians that the N25bn Employment Trust Fund recently established by the state will be distributed through a credible and transparent process.
Ambode said this on Thursday at a stakeholders’ summit organised by the state’s Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said.
The Governor, represented at the event by his Deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, explained that the fund was meant for residents of the state with marketable business ideas.
Ambode, who stressed that the ETF Board had credible and experienced Nigerians, gave the assurance that the entire process of accessing the fund had been designed to be “credible, transparent, accountable and not discriminate on account of gender, religion, physical ability or disability, political affiliation and socio-economic background.”
According to him, the economic challenges facing Nigeria as a result of dwindling revenue from crude oil, presents a unique opportunity to chart a new course for sustainable economic growth.
This, he said, further encouraged his administration to support the establishment and growth of small businesses to create job opportunities and generate wealth for the collective prosperity of all.
The state government established the fund to support small-scale businesses and people with innovative business ideas as part of its plan to tackle unemployment in the state.
Both the ETF and the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment were created by the Ambode-led administration to create jobs and reduce unemployment.
Already, the yearly contribution of N6.25bn for 2016 to the fund has been released by the state government, according to the statement.
In her keynote address, the Chairperson of the ETF Board, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okaru, said the country must create about 1.5 million jobs quarterly to keep the number of unemployed people flat.
To achieve the goal, she said there was the need for effective collaboration between government and the private sector to come up with solutions.
Okaru, who lamented that many Nigerians were spending time to acquire certificates of no value, said people must be encouraged to come up with innovative solutions to problems.
She said the disbursement of the fund would commence soon.