Thursday, 10 December 2015

Employment Trust Fund: Lagos State Govt and CBN unveils cheap loans for graduates

Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and the Lagos State Government yesterday unveiled special funds to be disbursed as cheap loans to graduates.

While the Lagos State Government unveiled a N25 billion Employment Trust Fund for on-lending to graduates at three percent interest rate, the CBN said it would soon release details of a special fund for on-lending to one million graduates at concessionary interest rate.

The funds were announced at the opening ceremony of the 7th Annual Bankers Committee retreat held yesterday in Lagos, with the theme, Creating an Enabling Environment for SME Growth.

Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, announced the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund, saying, “It would be difficult, if not impossible to achieve growth in our economy if we do not give proper attention to adequate financing of SMEs.
“The Lagos State government is mindful of these challenges and we are taking steps to support young entrepreneurs to create wealth and generate employment. We would soon complete the legislative process of inaugurating our Employment Trust Fund, through which our youths and entrepreneurs, particularly in the social enterprise sector, would be supported with start-up funds.

“As a government, we are committing N25 billion in the next three years to this Employment Trust Fund. This is going to be more like an intervention fund for which we believe the interest we are going to charge will not be more than three per cent. This is to checkmate the negative effect of the growing youth population in Lagos.’’
Speaking on the proposed fund for lending to graduates, CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said, “In 2016, the CBN is contemplating a programme that would support SMEs at concessionary pricing to our young graduates. We need to get more people to be employed. The central bank would over the next few weeks work out the initiative to create employment for at least one million graduates in Nigeria in 2016. That would entail the support from Nigerian banks and our development partners.’’

Credit: Vanguard

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