The N25 billion Employment Trust Fund (ETF) created by the Lagos State government is projected to create more than 100,000 entrepreneurs in the next four years, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has said.
The governor said N1.7 billion had been disbursed to 1,400 young entrepreneurs to finance their innovative ideas and projects, with the aim to create jobs and generate wealth to sustain the state’s economy.
Ambode said his government would continue to create the enabling environment for youth innovation to thrive, adding that his administration’s partnership with private sector to drive job creation would be sustained.
The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, spoke at the induction of the 2016 Class of Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI) on Wednesday at the United States (U.S.) Consul-General Residence in Ikoyi.
The one-year social innovation and leadership training programme, started in 2011, is named after former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Walter Carrington, with the objective to equip the youth with leadership skills and breed young generation of social innovators. Twenty fellows were inducted.
Ambode said: “We are committed to ensuring that the Employment Trust Fund scheme is sustained until every youth on the street of Lagos becomes economically independent and creates values that would make them self-reliant.”
The governor promised the CYFI fellows of the ministry’s readiness to partner them in accessing funds to execute their social innovation projects initiated in the course of the programme.
Through the programme, U.S. Consul-General Mr. John Bray said, America is connected with Nigerian youths, describing the fellows as “shining examples” for others in strong leadership skills.
He said: “Nigerian youths are dynamic and the future of Nigeria is in their hands. Through smart planning, hard work and passion, they have led positive change in their communities. They have served as examples to others and developed strong leadership skills. Through the programme, the U.S. is connected to Nigerian youths.”