The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSTEF) is partnering with private sector players to help looted businesses and businesses with vandalised properties get back on their feet in the wake of the vandalism and lootings that businesses in the state have experienced in the past few days after protests about police brutality turned violent in the state.
This was made known by Teju Abisoye, the executive secretary of the LSETF in an interview with Arise TV.
Commenting on the types of businesses that the LSETF plans to help, Abisoye said, “We are working with micro businesses, we are working with small businesses, we are working with any size of business that has actually been affected. We sent out a list of businesses that can apply on our social media platforms and our website. Any business can apply as long as you have evidence of the looting.”
On how the LSTEF plans to make sure that claims are genuine, the executive secretary said, “one of the things that we are also doing is that we will send out verification partners who will come and ascertain and evaluate the claim that each business is making.
“The steering committee will determine each claim based on the verification and evaluation report provided by the business development support partners,” Abisoye said.
On how the LSETF plans to include the informal businesses into its plan, Abisoye said that the LSTEF will be using other verification strategies apart from business registration, adding that it will be evaluating informal businesses by interviewing neighbours and fellow market women to ascertain and verify if businesses were in operation prior, so as to stifle fake claims.
Abisoye noted that the MSME recovery plan was a partnership between the Lagos State government and private sector players. She said, “The fund is being managed by a steering committee because it is not only Lagos State government who put money in this fund, it also includes the private sector.”
She said that during the disbursal of the MSME recovery plan, the LSETF will also be helping businesses become more formal.
“We also present an opportunity to help a lot of them formalise, (we have) banked them now, and we’d see how we can help them improve their results as a business because that’s our mandate,” she noted.
On the timeline for businesses in the state to apply for the MSME recovery fund, Abisoye said, “For the MSME recovery fund, we have left a window up till the 31st of October for businesses to apply because we need to turnaround those claims very quickly.”
“In the next 12 days, we want to begin to pay. But there are other opportunities that are available at the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund right now. What we had approved before this incident was the Lagos State Economic Assimilation Programme which was supposed to benefit the businesses that had been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.”
She also listed other sector-specific programmes that the LSTEF has rolled out in partnership with the private sector to ameliorate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Frontpage January 23, 2018