LASG Targets 200,000  New Tax Payers  With N25bn LSETF

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(Last Updated On: 2016-11-08)

Oluwatosin Lamidi

The Lagos State Government has protected that the Employment Trust Fund will produce additional 200,000 new tax payers through 300,000 direct and 600,000 indirect jobs by 2016.

The Executive Secretary of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Akintunde Oyebode made the forecast a Press Conference on Monday.

According to him, the fund is to provide financial support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

He said with the target of capturing over 100,000 entrepreneurs to benefit from fund by 2019, the tax projection is realisable.

Oyebode explained that the board which was set up to manage the funds had spent last few months perfecting strategies to define; mission, vision, core values and strategic framework to guide the Fund’s activities, as well as addressing grey areas ahead of commencement and disbursement of the funds later in 2016.

He stated that the board has forwarded Operating Guidelines outlining proposed interventions and eligibility criteria for approval by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

He said, “After completing the research exercise, the Board with its appointed consultants developed a strategic framework articulating goals of the Board, while key interventions were designed to enhance job creation, and supporting infrastructure needed to deliver the set goals. This exercise has now been concluded and approved by the Lagos State Executive Council.”

While explaining some of the framework for disbursement, Oyebode said the fund would provide loans to MSMEs at a single digit interest rates per annum, adding that training and capacity building as well as technical support would be provided to drive growth and job creation.

“The businesses we support must demonstrate capacity to repay our loans; be owned by Lagos residents duly registered by the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA); show evidence of tax payments to the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS); and have valid Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs). In addition to our MSME financing schemes, we will also train unemployed residents to either take up identified jobs or run their businesses,” he noted.

He added that the LSETF board, in order to ensure sustainability of the Fund, has set its target to raise a minimum of N25 billion from domestic and international donors, in addition to the N25billion already committed by the State Government.

According to Oyebade, once the pilot phase is completed, they would roll out their loan schemes in all 57 Local government areas (LGA) and local community development areas( LCDAs) across Lagos State, with full roll out visitations be made to all LGAs to hold stakeholder sessions, while their staffs would educate applicants on the application process and eligibility criteria for various schemes.

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He added that they are also in the process of setting up liaison offices in 20 LGAs to bring the Fund’s activities closer to people, and increase their points of representation to serve Lagos residents.

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