The Lagos state government on Friday said it would continuously encourage enterprise development in order to tackle unemployment and financial insecurity in the state.
The Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire said this at the closing ceremony of the 2014 corporate forum of Association of Professional Women Bankers (APWB) in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the forum was “Sustaining Financial Inclusion through Micro Enterprise Development”.
The deputy governor, who was represented by Mrs Toyin Onanuga, an assistant director in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, said the development was aimed at making indigenes independent.
She said that to realise the goals, the state government had established 18 skills acquisition centers to train young people and the unemployed graduates, particularly women.
” There is a long-term training programme which runs between six to 12 months.”
“Today, we are proud to say that the centers graduate more than 9000 people annually, who have now become self-employed and are employing others” she said.
She added that the administration also conceptualised and started a short-term Economic Empowerment Programme designed for some categories of people.
“These are the people who, as a result of their jobs, cannot attend the long-term training programme.
“I am happy to say the first phase of this training has graduated 11, 862 registered participants in 10 locations of the state” she said.
Similarly, Mrs Debola Osibogun, the president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said the case for micro enterprise had assumed an advanced level in both advocacy and implementation.
According to her, a nurtured and well structured Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) contributes significantly to poverty reduction.
“It also leads to employment generation, wealth creation, sustainable economic growth and inclusive financing”.
“The Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has made available funds to tackle the issue of financial inclusion and micro enterprise development.
“Fresh in our memories is N220billion intervention fund released through microfinance banks on 9 per cent interest rate.
“This fund is very dear to my heart because 60 per cent is targeted to reach women, who have been described as engine blocks for speedy economic growth” she said.
She added that CIBN is poised to vigorously pursue through its advocacy and educational programme the attainment of lofty goals of the financial inclusion. (NAN)
Source : Leadership