By Benjamin Omoike
The Lagos State Government has earmarked N1 billion grant to the hospitality sector as part of Covid-19 bailout.
The fund will be accessed through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced this during the 6th edition of the Lagos State Corporate Assembly, tagged “BOS Meets Business” held simultaneously at the two banquet halls at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Representatives of the Organised Private Sector who attended the interactive meeting, which was the first to be held by the Sanwo-Olu administration, commended the state government for continuing with the meeting.
Members of the Organised Private Sector, OPS, including the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its national counterpart, NACCIMA, SMEDAN and Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, were represented at the meeting, which was also attended by the State Deputy Governor and other top government officials.
Responding to requests made by members, Governor Sanwo-Olu listed measures already being implemented to ensure a business friendly environment to include waivers of penalties on annual tax remittance, tax returns on Covid-19 donations and the signing of a new Land Use Charge Law with a 48 per cent reduction in the 2018 payment of the charge.
The Governor, who revealed that the state was also collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for additional monetary support for members of the OPS, pledged his administration’s commitment to improving the lot of all business entities including the micro, small and medium enterprises
Governor Sanwo-Olu also assured members of the OPS that a list of approved taxes would be published on the state’s website, to resolve the issue of multiple taxation.
While welcoming participants, the Commissioner for Commerce Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, explained that all the issues raised during previous meetings had been resolved by the relevant government Ministries and Agencies.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Dr. Oreoluwa Finnih, made presentation on the State Government’s response to the covid-19, while the SA on Sustainable Development Goals, SDG, Mrs Solape Hammond, x-rayed reforms to boost ease of doing business in the state.
In addition to issues of taxation, bad roads and unwholesome attitude of some officials, some of the OPS representatives who made presentations at the meeting, asked government to also review the 10pm curfew imposed in the state because of the pandemic.
They commended the state government for the various measures already implemented and also solicited more to ensure a robust environment for businesses to thrive.