The Lagos State government has approved a loan of N1bn as seed capital for investment in the tourism sector of the state.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced this at the 6th Lagos Corporate Assembly held at the Banquet Hall in the State House, Alausa on Wednesday.
A statement released by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, quoted Sanwo-Olu saying the investment seeks to provide key operators with soft loans in order to drive new growth in the hospitality business.
Sanwo-Olu said the seed capital will be domiciled in the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and funds will be made available specifically to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operators in the sector.
“We have just given approval for N1 billion support that will be given out through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to support the hospitality business in the State.
“The beneficiaries of this fund will go through screening in line with the requirement of the agency. We are making this investment because of the huge potential for job creation and inclusive growth this sector can bring about,” the governor said.
Furthermore, Sanwo-Olu said the State would also be collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to further create access to funds to support the hospitality business.
He also disclosed that the State had started the first phase of the 6,000km optical fibre being laid across Lagos, with the aim of providing technological infrastructure to support MSMEs.
“We will be working with the CBN for more funding to fully develop the potential of our tourism sector. This effort is being completed with the rolling out of 3,000 km optical fibre across the State to provide technological infrastructure for the MSMEs whose operations would depend on fast Internet networks to drive their businesses,” the governor said.
He also assured that there will be a review of the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed in the State by the Federal Government in response to requests by businesses across the State, noting that the ongoing rehabilitation of major bridges and roads had impacted business activities in the State.
Lagos is touted as the fourth wealthiest city in Africa with its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) valued at $130 billion and over three million MSMEs.