Employment Trust Fund Remains Loan, Not Grant – LASG

... Says About 18 % of Beneficiaries Defaults in Repayment 

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Lagos State Government (LASG) has again reiterated that the financial assistance given by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) for business owners remains a loan that must be replayed within the stipulated time.

The Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr. Akinyemi Ajigbotafe, made the clarification on Thursday while presenting the scorecard of the Ministry at the Y2024 Ministerial Press Briefing to commemorate the first year in office of the second term of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu at Alausa, Ikeja.

He said that the clarification becomes necessary in view of the fact that about 18% of beneficiaries of the loan are yet to make repayment to the government despite all efforts to track them to effect repayment.

He said: “I want to use this medium to clarify that the financial aid given by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund is not a grant neither is it ‘Money for the boys’ as might be misconstrued by some persons”.

According to him, the implication of delay in repayment or not repaying at all is that potential beneficiaries would be denied access to the loan, adding that defaulters risk serious legal actions from the government as stated in the application form.

Speaking on measures being deployed by the agency to enforce compliance with repayment terms, the Acting Executive Secretary of LSETF, Feyisayo Alayande explained that the defaulter would be black-listed from accessing any loan in future either from the government or private organisations.

She added that the agency also has a section that is dedicated to educating prospective applicants on the terms and conditions attached to the loan and also informs them that the loan is neither an entitlement nor free money that wouldn’t be accounted for.

“As I speak, we have a Fund Recovery Desk within the Agency, we also work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that loans given to individuals or corporate organisations that remained recalcitrant are collected from them.

“What we also do is to track any beneficiary that tries to abscond from repaying the loan through his/her Guarantor information. The Guarantor will be held liable for the repayment or he will have to provide the whereabouts of the defaulted”, Ayandele stated.

Speaking on the requirements needed by prospective applicants to benefit from LSETF loan, the Acting Executive Secretary listed the requirements to include LASRRA Number, BVN, NIN, and government-issued ID Card.

She added that in some other cases, the applicant could be required to make a down payment of a refundable 5% equitable contribution and also present a certificate from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), depending on the amount of loan being applied for.