Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has revealed that over 4000 small and medium businesses have been empowered and supported in the last two years, in efforts to create boisterous commercial activities and boost the state economy.
According to the Governor, this was achieved through the N25billion Employment Trust Fund (ETF), set up by his administration.
Speaking when he received a delegation from Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), U.S.A., on a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Ikeja, Ambode said deliberate efforts have been made by his administration to aid businesses and encourage budding entrepreneurs in the State.
The Governor said promoting entrepreneurship is sure way to engage the youths meaningfully to contribute their quota to the growth of the economy.
He said: “There is no way under this economic recession that we have found ourselves that we can actually employ all the people under that age bracket. So the best thing is to create a framework that would allow them to dissipate their energy and creativity into the things that they would love to do.
“That’s why we set up the Employment Trust Fund with a budget of N25billion to be able to touch those younger ones that would not necessarily have the capital to recreate their skills. And so far, so good, in the last two years we have done almost about 4000 entrepreneurs, and we are doing more.”
Welcoming the partnership prospects with MIT, Ambode said he was excited that the Legatum Centre had finally discovered the importance of the African continent as a key part of the map to driving innovation as well as entrepreneurship, and Lagos as one of its major city partners.
Besides, he noted that the setting up of the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, is in consonance with the ideals of the Legatum Centre, assuring that his administration would do all it takes to sustain the partnership beyond entrepreneurship.
Earlier, in her remarks, the Executive Director, MIT, Mrs. Georgina Flatter, said the team was in Lagos to liaise with entrepreneurs in the State, and build sustainable partnerships.
She said the MIT team had spent the last few days touring ecosystems, and visiting entrepreneurs and ventures across Lagos, describing the experience so far as most inspiring.