Lagos woos fresh graduates to entrepreneurship, N25b soft loan scheme
Lagos State Government has charged fresh graduates in the State on the imperatives of looking inwards for self-employment, coupled with the benefits of getting soft loans from the State Government.
State Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, at the 24th Convocation Ceremony of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, held at the weekend, said that the charge was in line with current economic realities, “which require innovations and entrepreneurial skills that would make people contribute to the growth of the economy rather than relying on paid employment that may never come.”
Adebule noted that the high rate of unemployment among qualified Nigerian graduates over the years was an indication of the need for economic diversification in which the nation would locally produce large number of goods consumed by the people and import less so as to strengthen the economy.
She added that these needs provide the graduates fresh opportunities to redirect their energy and acquired skills to new innovation and entrepreneurial skills that would help them to be employers of labour, create wealth for themselves and add value to the growth of the nation’s economy.
While congratulating the graduands for their hard work, perseverance and commitment to academic excellence, Adebule reminded them that graduation itself is not an end, but a basic requirement to getting to an end.
She urged them to put into good use the vast training and experiences they had gathered over the years and be ready to face the task of nation building.
The Deputy Governor added that it was in recognition of the emerging trends in the global socioeconomic activities that informed the creation of the Office of wealth Creation and Employment by the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration, pledging his administration would continue to create enabling environment for young entrepreneurs to grow.
In pursuant of this commitment, Ambode had equally established an Employment Trust Fund (ETF) to which the state government is committed to contributing a total sum of N25 billion in four years meant to address a key challenge of access to soft loan.
The major trust of the fund is to support young people especially youths and fresh graduates with innovative ideas that can be developed into business enterprise, urging them to make use of the opportunity by coming out with new ideas that could help them to create job and contribute to the growth of the state economy.
While assuring that the administration would not relent in ensuring the sustenance of academic standards in all the institutions of the state with regular subventions and other interventions, Adebule informed the gathering that the administration was already working with a giant technology company in Israel on the possibility of building a High Technology Centre in the college to further strengthen the development of technology related courses in the school.
Earlier in his welcome address, the rector of the college, Samuel Oluyinka Sogunro, explained that the polytechnic that had been in existence since 1978 was ranked among the best four polytechnics in Nigeria and one of the best 50 in Africa because of its high academic standard.
He informed that the school in the recent past participated in the Global Entrepreneurship programme organised by the Technology Incubation Centre in Lagos, in which the school was rated as one of the best in terms of technology and innovations.
A total number of 8, 519 students were presented at 24th graduation ceremony of the school. A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of gifts to students who distinguished themselves in their academics. Among them is Omosalewa, Babalola Adenike who received the best graduating student award with a cumulative GPA of 4:00 and was given automatic employment by the polytechnic.