LSTEF, Polaris Bank Empower Lagos Artisans With N1bn
Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and Polaris Bank have partnered to provide N1billion funds to1,827 artisans of the registered 5.5 million artisans in the state.
Data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that 5.5 million people of the total 7.5 million labour force operate in Lagos State’s informal economy under which artisans are categorised.
Empowering such a number will be massive support from the bank that is providing the much-needed funding under its pact with the. Employment Trust Fund to create wealth and empower artisans and players who have been in business for a minimum of one year within the MSME space in Lagos.
The Bank’s Executive Director, Lagos Business, Segun Opeke on Thursday encouraged artisans in the state
to take advantage of the pact which Polaris Bank will fund with N500million while LSETF would also inject the same amount.
Also, the Executive Secretary of LSETF, Tejumola Abisoye said: that the LSETF is working with the Lagos State Council of Tradesmen and Artisans and the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment to make an impact by creating access to finance and sustainable job opportunities for artisans in the state.
“We are happy to partner with Polaris Bank in ensuring that this mandate is achieved, and we know that through this fund, thousands of artisan businesses across the state can become sustainable. At LSETF, we are open to more strategic partnerships to reduce unemployment by building the capacity and improving the productivity of Lagos residents.
“We are working with Polaris Bank to grant this loan at a single digit of 9.5% per annum. This is extremely important because we want it to be clear from day one that it is affordable. We still think it is the most affordable in the market that you can have access to at the moment,”
Explaining the process of accessing the artisans’ funds, the Group Head, Products and Market, Polaris Bank, Adebimpe Ihekuna, said that the scheme was highly subsidised at less than 1 per cent flat per month and artisans, who wish to take advantage of the facility can complete an application form; provide proof of verifiable business location with evidence of tenancy and domiciliation of business account to Polaris Bank.
Applicants are also to provide a business plan among other friendly terms throughout the tenure of the facility.
The kuna explained that the scheme offers up to N5million for the MSMEs to be able to purchase working equipment so that even as a cobbler, vulcanizer, a barbing or hairdressing salon owner or whatever business you do, you can create value which also becomes a platform to continue to provide more employment opportunities for the youth.
On her part, Director of Programmes, LSETF, Omolara Adewumi, expressed appreciation to Polaris Bank for the collaboration and the gesture of coming on board as a financial partner. She noted the role MSMEs play in creating jobs and reducing poverty.