By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The Lagos State Government disclosed on Wednesday that not less than $2.47 million (N939.98 million) has been expended to support businesses that were affected during last year’s #EndSARS riots.
Lagos Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment Mrs Yetunde Arobieke made the disclosure at the ministerial press briefing to commemorate the second year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.
Commissioner Arobieke said, with the disbursement of the funds, about direct jobs and 40,020 indirect jobs were saved in the aftermath of the unrest that rocked the state late 2020.
In the aftermath of the violence, a ‘Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Recovery Fund was set up to support businesses in Lagos State whose properties and assets were vandalised post #ENDSARS protest that rocked the nation in October 2020. With funding from the state government, corporate organisations and private individuals, businesses were supported with grant sums, ranging from ₦50,000 to ₦5,000,000 for beneficiaries to rebuild their businesses,’ the commissioner indicated.
She said the initiative was made possible through Governor Sanwo-Olu’s determination to mitigate unemployment in Lagos.
The commissioner pledged that her ministry will continue to strive for the actualisation of its mandate – wealth creation and employment – hrough its various programmes and initiatives.
‘Lagos State Employment Trust Fund has so far been providing access to finance and relevant support for entrepreneurs to create tangible jobs across the state. So far, we have supported over 14, 646 small businesses in Lagos State and created more than 123,720 jobs,’ Arobieke said.
On wealth creation, the commissioner said her ministry has identified that the informal sector, largely populated by artisans, is faced with challenges in the areas of access to market, inadequate or lack of finance and access to capacity development, hence the adoption of online portal, a market place for artisans and consumers.
Arobieke explained that the aim of the Sanwo-Olu administration in creating the online market was to expose the artisans to global market and scale up their potentials.
‘Mr Governor has approved the creation of a model and robust online market place with a lot of features that make it globally competitive. All certified artisans are currently been onboarded on the app,’ the commissioner said.