The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced the approval of a N1 billion seed capital for investment in the tourism and hospitality sector in the state. The N1 billion seed capital is to help drive new growth in that sector
This was announced during his meeting with business leaders in the state, at an event tagged, ‘BOS Meets Business,’ which was held at the Banquet Hall in the State House, Alausa Ikeja.
The Governor said that the investment was needed to support/strengthen the hospitality sector by providing key operators in the tourism business with soft loans to boost their capacity in driving growth. The governor said the initiative is necessary to position the tourism business as a new frontier for job creation and economic prosperity in the post Coronavirus era.
Sanwo-Olu said that this seed capital will be domiciled in the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), adding that the funds will be made available specifically to Micro, Small and Medium (MSMEs) operators in the sector
The Governor also said that the Lagos State Government would be collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to further create access to funds to support the hospitality business.
Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu further disclosed that the state has concluded arrangements to provide technological infrastructure to support MSMEs by commencing installation of the first phase of the 6,000km optical fibre across the state.
He pointed out that the state had continued to improve on its ease of doing business policies to drive private investment and economic growth. This he said is made possible by the digitization of business registration and asset acquisition processes, which has removed administrative bottlenecks.
“We have just given approval for N1 billion support that will be given out through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to support 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.’
“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 said this is the time for Lagos state to strengthen its economy which has a GDP valued at $130 billion and over 3 million MSMEs. The strengthening will come in the form of good policies for accelerated growth and prosperity. He also noted that the state is the 4th wealthiest city in Africa.
This policy and incentive for the hospitality sector by the Lagos State government will come as a huge relief for the small and medium scale operators in the industry which has been one of the worst-hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The businesses in the sector have witnessed a lot of shutdown with loss of revenue and laying off of staff.