The task of fighting unemployment in Nigeria requires collective efforts.

That is why the Lagos State government is seeking partners to ensure that the special purpose vehicle it has created to empower small and medium entreprises does not collapse like a starved child.

Answering questions on how the Fund could meet funding demands from millions of entrepreneurs in the state, the CEO of the Fund, Akin Oyebode told journalists on the sideline of the Social Media Week in Lagos that “the government is very clear in its commitment to funding the institution".

“But we also ask well meaning Nigerians, corporate individuals who want to partner to solve this unemployment problem to partner with us," he said.

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He added: “So, we are happy to partner with people who are already doing their own programmes to see how we can go further working together.”

According to him, the Fund has started consummating such partnerships as it recently raised $1 million from United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, towards another programme which is supposed to train and place unemployed Lagos residents in work.

“We are working with multiple partners whether they are international donor agencies, local corporates or high net worth individuals; it is a problem that collectively we must all solve. So, we are very open to partnerships to be able to do more,” he said.

He reiterated that the Employment Trust Fund has become a model for other states in Nigeria and even other African countries “to come and learn and adapt to their own situation”.

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