The Alimosho LGA is the largest by population in Lagos State. The LGA is so large and populated that it was divided into 6 smaller areas knowns as LCDAs (Local Council Development Areas). The Alimosho LGA has several potentials for growth and development especially the large number of youths in this part of Lagos, this was one of the reasons it was selected by the SEDIN Programme. The Alimosho forum was established in November 2021 after persons from the public, private, non-profit and local council sectors were elected to manage the forum. The forum started with 21 members, and they started what has come to be a productive journey.
When speaking to the chairman Omololu Ayeola, he mentioned that some challenges the LGA faced initially include;
- The poor relationship between MSMEs and the local government council.
- Various taxation from even unknown bodies which they still had to pay.
- Lack of database of businesses and key employers in the LGA, which impeded decision-making.
- Lack of aggregation in the different councils within the LGA.
These challenges were soon a thing of the past after the forum began to work collaboratively with stakeholders to address the issues.
After the set up of the forum, the starting point was the support from GIZ-SEDIN to do a study on the comparative advantages of the LGA and an Area Potential Survey was carried out. The report was shared with stakeholders and this helped them see clearly the potentials around them that could be explored for the development of the economy. Some of the potentials seen were the dumpsite, markets, and youth empowerment, “We saw it as an environmental problem not knowing it is waste to wealth. We realized the markets too were for economic development and there is a need to enhance and improve them. Another area is the large number of youths we have which we need to empower so they can leave the streets and be beneficial to their selves and the LGA”, said the chairman.
Further, GIZ-SEDIN supported the forum in various capacities such as;
- Organisational Development which helped them identify the individual skills of the members and how to maximise these potentials to make the forum carry out its plans successfully. They have been able to register the forum under the LGA, have their logos and proper documentation completed as a result of this training.
- Supported members of the forum especially the market sector in attending trade fairs to increase their market access.
- Supported seminars on youth employability and business growth.
- Sensitization on dispute resolution with the LGA.
The forum has recorded successes and impressive results since kick-off, these results have had direct and indirect impacts on the development of the LGA. Some results include;
- eLearning platform (ledhub.com.ng) built with over 10 digital marketing courses available for youths and even the aged group to equip their skills.
- Reviving the plastic recycling collection hub where waste around the community will be collected and incentivised. This will also prompt more people to not dispose of plastic waste but rather take it to the forum thereby keeping the LGA cleaner.
- They held a 2-day employability and entrepreneurship training which equipped MSMEs in scaling their business. The training was planned for 50 persons but had over 350 youths present and success stories have been recorded from participants from the training.
How the LED training helped me to scale my business and triple my income – Mrs Adegbola Mofisat Olayinka
Mrs Yinka, a married lady living in Alimosho, wants to be a caterer. She has tried to enter the industry but encountered numerous setbacks due to financial constraints. The cost of buying her cooking equipment and opening a cake studio made her halt her dreams and look for other opportunities to generate income. In June 2022, she attended a training organised by the Alimosho forum and this was the opportunity she needed to start a new business. This was a 3-day training on entrepreneurship and the need to start no matter how little, the first takeaway was her learning how to register a business online without the help of agents or third parties. On getting home after the training, she went online to begin registration. In the end, she was able to register this business with no external assistance or extra cost. She has also trained more persons on registering their businesses without third-party agents. However, this was not the highlight of her story.
The training she attended was not only on entrepreneurship but had financial institutions offer services such as loans and gadgets (POS) machines to some of the participants. She was one of the participants who got a POS machine and a small loan to start the business. She opened a business account and went home to start her newly found business. She started under the umbrella in front of her home and after a few months, she made more profits which she used to acquire more POS machines. Her business has grown drastically to her acquiring a container for business expansion. “With this POS business, my catering dreams can be achieved because I can raise the money to kickstart. The first training charged me to start something”, she said.
Local Economic Development Fora
Local Economic Development (LED) is a participatory development process that encourages both the private and public sector stakeholders of a Local Government to jointly design and implement a common development strategy by making use of local resources and competitive advantage, with the objective of creating decent jobs and sustainable economic development for all members of the community. The participatory approach promotes a bottom-up approach to development.
LED Forum is the vehicle that provides that platform and facilitates the participatory process. The Forum seeks to encourage dialogue and economic policies.
“With this POS business, my catering dreams can be achieved because I can raise the money to kickstart. The first training charged me to start something” – Mrs Yinka Adegbola