By ANDREW OJIEZEL
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode said the state government has paid total of N16.9 billion to pension in the last one year.
Ambode explained that the payment was paid between April 2016 and March 2017, while N2 billion was disbursed to young entrepreneurs and artisans under the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund (ETF) scheme.
The governor who made this known today, Thursday, at the commissioning of ultra-modern headquarters of Providus Bank in Lagos, stressed that his administration has maintained a consistent programme of actively reflating the economy through massive expenditure in infrastructural development and engaging competent local contractors who in turn employ the people.
In another development, the Ambode who expressed delight at the recent announcement of the World Economics that the country would soon come out of the recession, stated that the state’s consistent investment in critical sectors is contributing to the resurgence of the economy.
He said as a government, his administration was relentless in its commitment to providing a conducive, safe and secure enabling environment for businesses to thrive, adding that efforts were being made daily to improve the ease of doing business in the State especially by working to ensure that all businesses have all they require to succeed, even in a recession.
“We have maintained a consistent programme of actively reflating the economy through massive expenditure in infrastructural development and engaging competent local contractors who in turn employ our people.
“Our Employment Trust Fund has disbursed almost N2billion in the last quarter to young entrepreneurs and artisans. We have released N16.9billion for payment of arrears to pensioners in the State between April 2016 and March 2017.
“Our Light Up Lagos initiative has given traders and artisans extended time to carry out their businesses as we move towards our 24/7 economy. With these actions, we energized the economy and ensured that commercial activities continued in the State.
Further, he called for a convergence in the foreign exchange rates as well as deliberate strategy to force down the inflation to a single digit and reduce interest rates, saying that such would enable more business people to access funds and meet their obligations.
Commending President Muhammadu Buhari over the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently released by the Federal Government, he stressed that the economic blueprint would go a long way in charting the course for the economic recovery and growth desired by all.