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Lagos State Unveils ₦1 Billion Seed Fund for Hospitality Businesses

The Lagos State Government says it plans to provide funding for businesses in its tourism and hospitality sector. It says the seed funding would enable the targeted businesses drive economic growth in the post-coronavirus era.

Governor of the State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, made the plan public at the 6th Lagos Corporate Assembly, which took place at the State House in Alausa, Ikeja.

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The event, themed ‘BOS Meets Business’ was attended by business executives, manufacturers, and representatives of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN).

According to the governor, the ₦1 billion fund would be domiciled with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), and disbursed to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the tourism sector.

Collaboration with the CBN was also in the offing to open up financial support channels for enterprises in that space, Mr. Sanwo-Olu explained.

He said that the initiative was in line with the government’s drive to strengthen the ease of doing business in the state. He noted that other measures had been taken in this direction, including the digitization of business registrations.

Mr. Sanwo-Olu pointed to the plan to lay 6,000 km of fibre-optic cables across the state as further evidence of this policy focus.

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He stated that these interventions would boost business in the state and make it an attractive destination for investment– something that was needed to kick-start the economy’s growth engines as its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic commenced.

Businesses in the hospitality and travel industries have been hit hard by the pandemic-induced lockdown. Local flights, forbidden by the authorities for months, only resumed in July. The ban on international passenger flights remains in place.

Companies in the local hospitality sector continue to recoup their losses, as restrictions on large gatherings have negatively affected their revenues.

Lagos’ tourism industry contributes about $2 billion to the country’s GDP annually. It’s a small slice of the state’s $130 billion economy, but an important one nonetheless. The sector enables much of the activity that takes place in other segments of the state’s economy.

The depressed state of tourism and travel mirrors what’s happening in large parts of Nigeria’s business scene. The Lagos State government will be keen to remedy the situation, as part of its efforts to get the local economy running again.


Featured Image Source: Nairametrics

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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