Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State said on Saturday that only creative unemployed youths would benefit from the first tranche of the N25 billion State Employment Trust Fund loan scheme.
Ambode made the disclosure at a Youth Empowerment Programme organised by the `Eleniyancare Leadership Foundation’ in Epe, Lagos state featuring over 1,000 youths drawn from across the state.
The Nigerian Observer reports that the empowerment programme is entitled: “Unlocking the Potentials Within: Making your Ideas Work.”
The programme is convened at the instance of Mr Segun Olulade, Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Health Services.
The governor, who was represented by Prince Babatunde Durosimi-Etti, said that the fund would soon be released to only deserving creative entrepreneurial youths as loan.
“His Excellency has said that the disbursement procedure of the fund would soon be out.
“I am aware the board had met with various institutions, they have completed their processes, and they are just putting finishing touches to it.
“There will be opportunity for start offs. There will be opportunity for existing artisans and entrepreneurs and in addition, there will be opportunity for small businesses.
“Ideas, creative and innovations are the prerequisites, opportunities are there, and if you look around your environment the opportunities are there.
“It is going to reach every Nigerian that is eligible; that is creative irrespective of the business area. You just need to be creative.
“Whether we like it or not, we live in a competitive environment.
“ The opportunities are there for those that are willing to harness the opportunities, of course they will be able to take the advantages in it.”
According to him, the fund only attracts three per cent interest from the beneficiaries.
He, therefore, called on youths to have creative mind and thinking to be able to contribute their quotas to the socio-economic growth and development of the society.
NAN recalls that the fund is part of the 2016 budgetary allocation of the state government to provide empowerment for the unemployed residents, including the youths.
In his address of welcome, Olulade said that youths were firebrands with numerous potentials and skills ready to positively affect the world.
He charged the participants to strive to be employers of labour rather than employment seekers.
“I am inspired by my humble background to start a youth-based foundation to bridge the gap between the youths and their aspirations. Youths should be seen as assets and not liabilities.
“This programme is one of the focal points of my foundation. The summit is one of the many opportunities that would come from Eleniyan Foundation for our youths.
“I charge you to be ready to hit the world. It is time for young people to shift from lack of job to creating something on their own,” he said.
According to him, if the youths can look at their innate talents, they will discover that they have something to offer the world.
The discussion session featured personalities such as Chief Dele Momodu, Desmond Elliot, Chioma Chukwuma and Kate Henshaw, among others.
The session, which was anchored by Ibrahim Owolabi, a young motivational speaker, exposed the youths to the experiences of the speakers and how they achieved greatness in their various chosen careers.