Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State

Why Lagos, LSETF, FirstBank partner to unveil N5bn support capital for schools: Sanwo-Olu

*We are obligated to provide the N5billion education intervention fund that would enable learners in schools’ study in line with the new normal, says Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to the devastating effects of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns on the Nigerian economy, including the educational institutions across the Centre of Excellence in the last several months, the Lagos State Government (LASG) in partnership with First Bank of Nigeria Limited has launched N5 billion Post-Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery Support capital for the education sector in support of low-cost private schools in the state.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu formally unveiled the education intervention fund, which targets over 2,000 private schools, at a ceremony held in the Banquet Hall of the Lagos State House at Alausa-Ikeja Friday, September 25, 2020.

It was learnt that the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) collaborated with the First Bank of Nigeria to facilitate the matching fund, which will be given as a loan to schools and vocational education centres across the state.

The governor disclosed that the intervention is part of the State Government’s sustainable solutions to limit the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both residents and businesses.

According to him, as the state gradually unlocks socio-economic activities, following the impact of the pandemic, the loan programme would help the targeted beneficiaries accelerate recovery and give them the opportunity of a painless return to regular life.

Sanwo-Olu said: “It is no longer debatable that the education is one of the sectors that are severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centers 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.

“As a responsible government, we are obligated to provide the intervention that would enable learners in these schools’ study in line with the new normal.”

The N5 billion Education Loan Programme is a precursor to many more human development sector-specific support programmes that would be unveiled by the LSETF on behalf of the State Government next month, stated the Lagos State Governor.

He further stressed that the intervention was necessary, given the importance of education to building human capital.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the current administration in the state takes education as critical to building 21st-Century economy and realising objectives set out in the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda.

He added that the beneficiaries would have access to single-digit loan facilities to fund the provision of the amenities and services needed to aid learning.

“It is thus heart-warming to have First Bank of Nigeria electing to be our exemplary partner for this intervention.

“With their support, players in the education sector would be getting the financial support they need to boost learning at a single-digit interest rate.

“I also commend the Board of LSETF and the management for this significant accomplishment.

“They have helped the Lagos State Government build an institution that has engendered public trust and elevated the hope of small businesses and young people, irrespective of challenges faced,” he said.

Mrs. Bola Adesola, Chairperson of LSETF Board of Trustees, represented by Mrs. Tatiana Mousali-Nouri, said schools that have a minimum of 100 students and have been in operation for, at least, a year are the ones qualified for the loan facility.

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, said the Bank went into the partnership, having recognised the role played by education towards the growth of the economy.

Adeduntan commended the Lagos State Government’s efforts at reducing the burden induced by the COVID-19 pandemic on the education.

The Lagos Government has scored another first, said the First Bank Chief Executive.

Kindly Share This Story