The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and First Bank of Nigeria Limited have announced the launch of the ‘LSETF-FirstEdu Loan’, in a matching fund scheme aimed at improving the post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts for players in the education sector; boost learning outcomes for students and create jobs within the ecosystem.
The LSETF-FirstEdu Loan is a 5 billion Naira funding intervention targeted explicitly at low-cost privately owned schools and vocational training centres in Lagos State, ensuring access to affordable financing at a single-digit interest rate of 9% per annum. The Loan programme offers participating schools and training centres up to N5 million in facility as well as professional and institutional supports comprising capacity building programmes and business advisory.
This scheme aligns with the Lagos State Government T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, which seeks to improve Traffic management & transportation; Health & Environment; Education & Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy; Security and Governance.
Commenting on the Eduloan programme, Mrs Bola Adesola, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) stated that; “According to the NESG the Education Sector remains a growth area for job creation and a report on job creation by the NBS states that the Education Sector is one of the top 5 sectors that created over 59m jobs in 2017. This fact is buttressed by the data collected by LSETF in previous loan programmes. The objective of the LSETF-FirstEdu loan is to create employment, improve the quality of education for our youth by providing access to affordable finance to low-cost private schools and vocational training centres.
“We are confident that this intervention fund, which is complemented by our free professional and institutional support structures, will ensure that the education ecosystem in Lagos State will witness an improvement in the overall learning outcomes for our children, while positively impacting on the Lagos local economy through wealth and job creation.,” she stated.
According to Dr Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; “At FirstBank we recognise the indelible role played by the education sector in the growth of any economy and this underscores our partnership with Lagos State Government for continuous development of the education services in Lagos State and the nation as a whole. The commitment by the Lagos State Government – including this partnership – to enable schools is quite commendable as this will mitigate the challenges caused by the lockdown on the education sector following the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“With the single-digit funding targeted at about 2,000 low-cost private schools in the State, we are delighted at this opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the development of education in Lagos State, thereby contributing our quota to further the mandate of the Lagos State Government – in partnership with LSETF – on economic growth, enhanced opportunities for employment and bridging societal gaps in education,” he concluded.
The loan scheme will be provided to 2 categories of applicants; Micro-Enterprise (ME) businesses will receive a sum of not more than ₦500,000 (Five hundred thousand naira only); Small and Medium Enterprise will receive a sum of not more than ₦5,000,000 (Five million naira only)”.
To enjoy this funding opportunity, applications will be submitted via the LSETF portal for screening while successful applicants will be passed on to FirstBank for the loan appraisal and disbursement process. Requirements and application details are available on the website – www.lsetf.ng
Only recently, FirstBank partnered with the Lagos State government, Robert & John, IBM and Curious Learning with a resolve to enable the education of 1 million Nigerian students through innovative eLearning solutions that will drive sustainable efforts towards improving education for all. As part of the partnership, the Bank donated 20,000 units of e-learning devices to the Lagos State government.
These partnerships reinforce FirstBank’s “You First” brand promise of putting not just its customers first but the economy of its host communities.