Lagos Empowerment Summit: Harnessing Opportunities For Job And Wealth Creation

 Lagos Empowerment Summit: Harnessing Opportunities For Job And Wealth Creation

lagos-stateHonourable Commissioner of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti has said at the Lagos Empowerment Summit, that the outcome of deliberations would provide significant input in the formulation of government’s blueprint to create the needed atmosphere for employers of labour to excel.
‘The interactive and technical sessions of this summit were particularly designed as an avenue for all stakeholders to bring up ideas and suggestions that will add value to the strategies guiding the design and implementation of harnessing the opportunity for job and wealth creation.’ he added.
According to Durosimi-Etti, the interactive segment which is very crucial would serve as feedback mechanism for government to revisit the drawing board in implementing earlier strategies in wealth creation.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr, Abdul Ahmed Mustapha, underscored the need for investment in Research and Development to enhance value chain in the Agriculture and Agro-Allied Sector through the production of high yield input and raw materials to potential entrepreneurs.
According to him, ‘there is need for effective collaboration between the private and public sector whereby the unemployed youths who are interested in farming are assigned to entrepreneurs, under an arrangement where government pays half of the salary and the entrepreneur provides the balance as a way of enhancing job opportunities in agro-allied business.’
Mustapha also said that linking small farmers with formal markets and business development services through knowledge, technology and innovation would aid the sector’s growth, while enhanced knowledge of regulatory requirements would boost synergy between entrepreneurs and elicit knowledge sharing on business successes.
Meanwhile, participants at the 2-day summit have called on the state government and financial institutions to make the process of accessing finances for growing entrepreneurs seeking start-up capital less cumbersome, as well as make the interest payment affordable and convenient.
They commended the initiative of government with the Empowerment Trust Fund intervention and also said that government should prevail on financial institutions to always give special considerations to entrepreneurs who approach them for soft loans to grow their businesses.
They bemoaned situations where the financial institutions charge as much as thirty(30) per cent interest rates or more on loans, describing it as ‘beyond the level of affordability, ‘Banks should be more transparent about hidden charges and implement discounted rates on loans for SMEs’ they added.
The participants also called on government to continually sensitize entrepreneurs on the various opportunities available to access finance and strengthen partnership through stakeholders’ engagement to improve entrepreneurs’ knowledge of available types and sources of financial support for their businesses.


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