LASG empowers over 11,000 start-up businesses In 4 years

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By Kemi Akintokun/Florence Onuegbu

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says over 11,885 start-up businesses have been empowered in the last four years with attention to Micro-Enterprises in driving economic development of the state.

Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, made this known on Tuesday at the Year 2024 Lagos State Micro-Enterprise Support Initiative (MESI) organised by Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA).

He said the empowerment programmes were initiated to reduce poverty, increase wealth of the people of Lagos and cushion the effects of the hardship Nigerians were facing as a result of removal of subsidy, amongst others.

According to him, the beneficiaries of the scheme include the indigent, vulnerable and graduates of skills acquisition centres in the state.

“Our administration’s recognition of the pivotal role of Micro-Enterprises in driving economic development, reducing poverty, and generating employment, led to its prioritisation for support to create more job opportunities and foster innovation for accelerated growth.

“This initiative is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to addressing the plight of the less-privileged who are facing significant challenges in their daily lives.

“It is also a practical demonstration of our social inclusion policy geared toward ensuring that no one is left behind in our collective journey to the Greater Lagos of our dream.

“Today, many of you will receive support in the form of milling machines, sewing machines, professional hair-dryers, barbing clippers with sterilising units, generators, pop-corn machines and shawarma grills.

“Also, toasting machines, snail pens, industrial cookers, tile- laying machines and garri processing equipment to aid the realisation of the economic aspirations of the most vulnerable people,” he said.

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Sanwo-Olu commended WAPA for driving the commendable efforts of his administration’s economic development and poverty eradication strategy through the programme.

He also promised that in the new year, the state would work to increase employment and open up opportunities for income generation through collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including educational institutions, NGOs and the private sector.

Earlier, the Commissioner for WAPA, Mrs Cecilia Bolaji Dada, congratulated the beneficiaries and restated Lagos State Government’s commitment to zero tolerance on idleness of any form.

Dada noted that the state would continue to empower individuals and groups to excel in their different endeavours.

She said Gov. Sanwo-Olu was committed to implementing policies using T.H.E.M.E.S plus agenda, an all-inclusive initiative geared toward economic growth and development through the blueprints of his predecessors to build a progressively Greater Lagos.

“We recognise the plight of those who are less fortunate and face significant challenges in their daily lives. It is our duty as a government to ensure that no one is left behind and that everyone has equal opportunities to succeed.

She noted that the ministry had other programmes lined up for women and the indigent in the state in this new year.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr Godson Uche, who expressed delight over the empowerment, said he took advantage of WAPA programme having been out of job after graduation from tertiary institution.

The Business Administration and Management graduate, now a caterer, said that he emerged the best students in the programme and was empowered.

Uche said that he had two outlets and that business was booming.

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“I was battling with stove and pot to bake but was later empowered with oven which makes my business to be moving very well, I really thank the Lagos State Government and WAPA for this opportunity,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chidinma Agu/Adeleye Ajayi

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