COVID-19: 2,500 businesses to benefit from Lagos care programme

May 25, 2021
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The Lagos State government, on Tuesday, said no fewer than 2,500 businesses will benefit from its Lagos Care programme, an intervention that comes in form of a grant and seeks to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic especially on small businesses in the state.

Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Mrs Tejumola Abisoye, disclosed this, on Tuesday, while speaking with newsmen at the headquarters of the agency in Oregun, Ikeja, saying that the programme aimed to provide relief and to cushion the effect of income-loss and the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on commercial activities in Lagos State.

According to Abisoye, the Lagos Care programme put together by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration and which stands for COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus is available for those in micro and medium businesses in agriculture, food industry, fashion, trading, entertainment, among others to tap into, declaring that it cut across all sectors of the economy.

The executive secretary disclosed that application for the programme, which opened early this month had attracted 200 entries, saying successful applicants after thorough screening would receive a grant ranging from N100,000 minimum for those in micro-businesses to N5million for those in medium businesses.

This was just as she listed three categories available for the programme.

“There are three categories: Reducing Loan Limitations (Credit Grant): This grant is provided to help reduce up to 40% of new loans taken by businesses from qualified financial institutions after the onset of the COVID-19 crisis (starting from JUNE 16, 2020).

“What this means is that a beneficiary is only eligible for the grant if they took a loan from a recognised financial institution from March 1, 2020. This loan must have been taken to boost the beneficiaries’ business,” she said.

Abisoye said the second category tagged: “Unavoidable Costs (Operations Grant)” is provided to help reduce up to 50per cent of the unavoidable costs suffered by MSMEs during and after the onset of Covid-19, pointing out that it aimed to boost MSMEs to attain the level of employment and job creation before COVID -19 pandemic.

According to her, this grant will be used to pay for employees’ salary, an alternative power supply such as solar panels and utility bills such as water, electricity bills and any operational cost and will not be used to pay for taxes and regulatory levies.

She explained that the third category tagged: “Adoption and Upgrade of Digital Technology (IT Enhancement Grant)” offers financing to MSMEs to adopt and upgrade their digital technology, saying “the aim is that the businesses will be strengthened and will lead to operational efficiency and sustainability.”

She expressed the hope that the first set of disbursement would be made next month to qualified beneficiaries.

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