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  In line with efforts aimed at curbing the negative impacts of COVID-19, the Lagos State Government formed a formidable partnership with First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and has launched a N5 billion post-COVID-19 recovery fund for the state’s education sector in other to aid low-cost private schools to maintain stability amidst the pandemic.
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Launched during a ceremony at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja on Friday, September 25, 2020, by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the intervention fund is aimed at over 2,000 private schools in the state. The governor noted that the Education Loan Programme was a precursor to more support projects to come as Lagos State fights to recover shape as the most hit state by the pandemic in Nigeria. He stated that on behalf of the state government, more human development sector-specific support programmes would be launched by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). The collaboration between LSETF and First Bank of Nigeria Limited is meant to facilitate the allocation of the funds as loans to schools and vocational education centres in the state. In his address during Friday’s ceremony, Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasized that the project serves as one of his administration’s sustainable solutions towards limiting the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on residents of the state and businesses. Further, the funds are meant to accelerate the recovery of beneficiaries and present a unique opportunity for a return to normalcy as the state gradually unlocks.
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‘It is no longer debatable that education is one of the sectors that are severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centres shut since March when we took the tough decisions meant to disrupt the spread of the virus. Given the incidence of the closure of schools in response to the pandemic, it would not be out of context to note that the challenges presently faced by these schools would increase significantly. With access to low-cost funding for privately owned schools and vocational training centres in the state, we are confident that this programme will help accelerate sustainable and painless return to world-class learning and skills acquisition of our young population.’ Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Commenting further, Sanwo-Olu noted that the relevance of education towards the growth of human capital meant it was imperative to make provisions for intervention funds in the state, as he did not also fail to identify the education sector as a critical part of his administration and its vitality in building a 21st-century economy. Beneficiaries will receive single-digit loan facilities to fund the needed amenities and services essential for learning. The education loan scheme is of two categories of Micro Enterprise (ME), and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME). Beneficiaries in the ME category will have access to loans not worth more than N500,000, while applicants under the SME category will get N5,000,000. To be part of the exercise, applicants will submit their loan applications through the portal of the LSETF for screening. Details of applicants that emerge successfully will be sent for appraisal and disbursement to First Bank. A link will be made public when the application opens for it. Source: The Nation Online NG Featured Image Source: Nairametrics
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This article was first published on 28th September 2020


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