· APC candidate: ‘Conditions for grant will be lessened’
Entrepreneurs and technology startups operating in Lagos State will have a better time to improve their businesses and take their skills to another level if the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is elected to govern the state.
The APC candidate said his government would increase the funds dedicated for the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and lessen the conditions to access the funds at the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). This, he said, is in line with his drive to make Lagos economy smart and a 21st-Century economy.
LSETF was established to provide financial support to SMEs and entrepreneurs to tackle unemployment through jobs and wealth creation.
Sanwo-Olu spoke before a large number of young entrepreneurs and tech startups at the Lagos Enterprise Summit held at Harbour Point on the Victoria Island. The event had the theme: The Enterprise Initiative: Job for Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu also urged successful SME operators to take up and train interns for mentoring purpose, saying the such action would have multiplier effect on young people’s productivity and economic development.
He said: “Lagos has recorded successes and positive interventions through Employment Trust Funds. Many entrepreneurs have accessed these funds to improve their business. We are going to double the funding for this agency to reach more entrepreneurs and startups. We will also review the conditions for getting start-up loans, with the aim to lessen them for more people to access the funds.”
The APC candidate, who was accompanied to the summit by his running mate, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and their wives, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu and Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat, urged the entrepreneurs not to rest on their oars in bringing out innovations to improve their business and skills, noting that economic growth in the modern times was being anchored on problem-solving innovations.
Sanwo-Olu said his government, if elected, would be initiating policies that would be geared towards making working and living in Lagos safe, adding that his thematic programmes codenamed “THEME” would create atmosphere for the entrepreneurs to flourish.
He said: “Our programmes ‘THEME’ is strategically designed to solve the challenges most of our entrepreneurs are facing. We are coming to make your businesses thrive and create policies that will make you the strategic partners in making Lagos a smart economy. We believe solving traffic problems would empower entrepreneurs and SMEs to deliver their products and services on time.
“We are going to complete the light rail projects, which are projected to bring about seamless and rapid transportation in Lagos. The use of light rail will also lessen the burden on our roads.”
The APC candidate also said the environment policies of his administration would create wealth from the tonnes of waste generated in the state. He said women would play key role in driving his government’s waste management ideas.
The convener of the summit, Tonya Lawani-Okojie, said the event was organised with the objective to foster partnership between policymakers in the public sectors and entrepreneurs for economic growth.