Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State yesterday signed into law the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund, ETF bill, aimed at tackling the high rate of unemployment in the state.
Ambode said at the Lagos House, Ikeja, that the signing was a milestone of his administration’s move to tackle the challenges of unemployment through granting of soft loans to individuals for the purpose of making them self-employed, to create wealth.
He said one of the promises he made to residents during his campaign was to set up an ETF scheme to address the challenges of unemployment in the state.
“Each year, the state government will inject N6.25 billion into the fund for a period of four years, making it N25 billion cumulatively,” he said.
According to him, a board of trustees will be announced in due course to manage the fund.
He said that members of the board would be outside the purview of government.
Ambode, in November 2015, sent the ETF bill to the State House of Assembly for approval.
The fund is aimed at transforming employment creation in the state over the next four years.
It will be administered as soft loans to bona fide residents of the state who desire facilities between N100,000 and N1 million or more.
The fund will be administered through an independent Trust backed by an efficient structure that will disburse the funds.
The Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, created in June by the governor, will oversee the affairs of the scheme, while the funds will be channelled through the state’s micro-finance institutions.
About one per cent interest rate will be charged on the loan to take care of administrative expenses.
LASU Amendment Bill
Also, Governor Ambode yesterday signed a bill into law, which converted the Lagos State University, LASU, to a residential institution and approved 70 years retirement age for professors of the institution instead of the usual 65 years.
The law, LASU (Amendment) Bill 2015, also approved a five-year single term for the Vice-Chancellor of the University.
Ambode, while signing the bill into law at the State House, Ikeja, said it was aimed at raising the standard of the school to an enviable position, adding that it was also to make it a school that people would be proud of.
The governor said it was the desire of the state government to build a LASU that would produce better students.
According to him, changes will begin to happen in the school in the next few days.