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Lagos’ Quest To Raise Young Entrepreneurs

The Lagos Government has promised to grant takeoff loans to all the graduating students of the technical colleges in the state to enable them build their own businesses.

The state government also explained the rationale behind the establishment of Lagos State Microfinance Institution (LASMI), which it linked to the state’s agenda of building a new generation of entrepreneurs. Governor, Babatunde Fashola disclosed these incentives at the 2014 Enterprise Day held at the NECA House, Alausa where he expressed resolve to end the cycle of unemployment in the state.

The enterprise day, which was organised by the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) under the leadership of Olawumi Gasper, was designed to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Fashola, who was represented at the forum by the Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, acknowledged the challenges confronting the young entrepreneurs across the country.

He, therefore, unveiled the state’s interventions, which he said, would enable the students from the state’s technical colleges to access credit facilities from the LASMI without collateral securities.

The governor explained that the students “are not expected to provide any collateral except that they are student from any of the government owned college of education. The loans will only attract single digit interest.”

According to him, the loans for the student will be processed through the LASMI while forms will be provided for the intended students at their various institutions to enable them apply.

He added that with the provision of grants “to students with the best business plans from the technical and vocational colleges, the state government is helping to transform the young entrepreneurial ideas into profitable and thriving business that will provide employment opportunities for other Nigerians and contribute to local, state and national economy.”

He said the initiative was geared towards encouraging the students from the technical colleges “to embrace entrepreneurial activities and developing the right attitude to entrepreneurship and self employment. We have chosen to champion vocational and technical education.”

Also speaking, the state’s Commissioner for Education, Olayinka Oladunjoye said the enterprise day “is an annual event which promotes networking of successful entrepreneurs with young aspiring entrepreneurs from the technical colleges in a one day open interactive forum.”

The commissioner added that following the success of the first edition, the second edition with the theme ‘technical and vocational skills as a gateway for enterprise development’ is designed to celebrate legacies of successful entrepreneurs while also promoting immense opportunities in youth-led businesses and other entrepreneurial pursuits.’

She said the state government “is matching words with action by re-aligning the curriculum of the state-owned technical colleges to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship, skills training, involvement of industries and public private partnerships in technical and vocational education in order to compete favorably in the global economy.”

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