In January 2016, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State presented an Employment Trust Fund bill to the State House of Assembly for consideration. The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund(LSETF) proposed a ₦25 billion fund to be given to support young entrepreneurs and small businesses over a 4 year period at 1%.
Following the announcement of the equity free loan, we were kept in the dark about processes involved. Emails have been rushing in from readers ever since all making inquiry for information regarding the loan.
And now, there appears to be good and bad news. A tweet from the official Twitter account of the Lagos Employment Fund confirmed that the fund was back in play. According to the tweet, 700 million businesses will get ₦900 million tomorrow.
"About 700 businesses will receive 900 million naira from the LASG tomorrow." - the Executive Secretary.
— Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (@LSETF) January 25, 2017
The confusing aspect is that the new interest rate for the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund(LSETF) is 5% as against the initial 1% that was advertised when we announced the loan.
— Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (@LSETF) January 24, 2017
The not so savoury angle to it is that a quick scan through the timeline showed that registration for the pilot scheme of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund(LSETF) ended on the 12th of January without any buzz. It is unclear when the next registration will commence, but we will be sure to keep you posted.
Considering that Governor Akinwumi Ambode visited Yaba and promised grants after the applications had ended, it is safe to assume that the funds he intended are not from the pilot scheme.
Even though the applications have ended, young businesses in Lagos are still waiting for the funds promised by the governor.
This is a developing story.