The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has reached an advanced stage in the selection of 1,000 beneficiaries in the pilot stage of its loan scheme. From this week, successful beneficiaries will be contacted to accept loan offer letters indicating the terms and conditions guiding the loan scheme, the final process before loans are disbursed to beneficiaries.
According a statement by LSETF, once the applicants accept the terms of the offers made and open their bank accounts, disbursement of the approved amounts will be made to the beneficiaries.
The LSETF’s partners will help with the selection, verification and disbursement of loans to beneficiaries in a professional, transparent and unbiased process. These partners include PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), a globally renowned audit firm that will verify all the applications and audit the processes.
Others organisations include the Fate Foundation, LEAP Africa, Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), National Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) and cooperative societies, which provided applicants for the pilot scheme through their membership. The process was thereafter opened to the public through online application as the agency widened the scope of its beneficiary targets.
Commenting on the ongoing pilot process, LSETF’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Akin Oyebode, states that, “it is critical for us to test our process ahead of a full roll out. This is to ensure that we have an incident-free and an unwavering confidence in our ability to deliver an unbiased, inclusive and transparent process to determine those deserving of being beneficiaries of the scheme.
These are the values we hold sacred for the benefit of Lagos residents as we strive to provide access to institutional support, leverage and finance for micro, small and medium scale businesses to thrive in Lagos State.
“We are also in the process of setting up liaison offices in 20 LGAs, to bring the fund’s activities closer to the people, and increase our points of representation to serve Lagos residents.”
The fund is poised to provide support to at least 100,000 MSMEs; create at least 300,000 direct and up to 600,000 indirect jobs by 2019. The LSETF is also mandated to provide training and job placements for the unemployed; mentorship for SME owners and improvement of the policy environment to ensure a conducive operational environment for small businesses in the state.
Once the pilot phase is completed, the LSETF will roll out the loan schemes in all 20 LGAs in Lagos in addition to an online platform. This will be complemented with various stakeholder sessions across the 20 LGAs, where LSETF staff will educate applicants on the application process, and the eligibility criteria for various schemes.