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Lagos Govt suspends LSETF loans repayment for three-month, to inject more funds

By Monsuru Olowoopejo

Worried by the effect lockdown of Lagos economy occasioned by coronavirus pandemic has had on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Entrepreneurs that received Lagos State Employment Trust Funds (LSETF) loans, the State Government has approved a three months moratorium to the beneficiaries.

According to the State Government, the move became necessary after Nigeria’s economy felt the impact of the twin-shock occasioned by the falling prices of oil in the international market and freezing of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, disclosed this on Thursday at a media briefing, which was held at the JTT Park in Alausa, to afford the state governor’s aide directly involved in the intervention programmes of Lagos State government provide updates on the activities aimed at reducing the effects of the pandemic in the state.

Olowo disclosed that the State Government had granted three months moratorium on accrued principal and interest payment on loans granted to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Entrepreneurs by Lagos State Employment Trust Funds (LSETF).

 “Those who have loans currently running with the LSETF have been given three months moratorium by the State Government for principals and interests to ensure that these small businesses that generated jobs are not hit by the crisis.

“We will also be raising the capacity of LSETF to support the SMEs with capital that will act as a shock absorber and give necessary incentives to enable them to mitigate the impacts. This plan is for a period after the battle would have been won against COVID-19,” Oluwo explained.

Admitting that the State revenue had been greatly affected by under-performance of businesses occasioned by the lockdown, Olowo said it would be premature to evaluate the State’s loss at the present time.

The Finance Commissioner also stated the Government had apportioned all donations it received from the private sector and Federal Government transparently, stressing that all funds received in support of Coronavirus will be fully accounted for.

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