Ecobank Nigeria and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) have reached a strategic collaboration to reduce unemployment in the state through the promotion of entrepreneurship and capacity development for Lagos based micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Under the arrangement, Ecobank is expected to make available its various platforms and solutions to LSETF for prequalified MSMEs in Lagos to drive attainment of the objectives as set out by LSETF and Ecobank Nigeria.
Commenting on the partnership, Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Carol Oyedeji, said the collaboration is in line with the bank’s empowerment and entrepreneurship initiatives to reduce unemployment in various parts of the country. She stressed that the collaboration will be mutually beneficial to both parties as it would achieve sustainable business growth and overall skill development amongst MSMEs operating in Lagos state. She pointed out that the partnership will engender structured capacity building, technology skill acquisition, access to business mentoring and access to finance.
Specifically, Mrs Oyedeji stated that “We are currently driving the African Union Initiative for MSMEs in Africa which includes a structured training and mentoring scheme including financing for MSMEs under the auspices of the Ecobank AUDA-NEPAD Academy. This initiative comprehensively covers the main objectives of the LSETF’s Intervention in the MSME space. Ecobank has been very active in empowering existing and intending entrepreneurs all over the country under the Ecobank agency banking proposition. This is intended to create additional revenue sources for the entrepreneurs wherever they are. We are also disposed to admit all eligible Lagos based entrepreneurs and intending entrepreneurs into this growing agency banking network.
Also speaking on the partnership Executive Secretary/CEO, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Mrs Teju Abisoye said, “We are pleased to work with a leading Pan-African Bank with operations in thirty (33) countries across Africa. Partnerships like this move us much closer to our goal and I believe that the collaboration of the government and the private sector is one that can defeat the scourge of unemployment, exponentially expand the economy and improve the quality of life of our people.
“The initiative, which is tagged LSETF/Ecobank Project, is aimed at making available various platforms and solutions tailored for participation in the programmes of the LSETF towards achieving the objectives of increased job and wealth creation, reducing unemployment, driving technology adoption and capacity/skill enhancement,” she said.