The Lagos State Government has launched a “first of its kind” Universal Patronage Cash Reward system, tagged the “Eko Token”. The initiative will reward customer loyalty to businesses that subscribe to the programme, through a weekly raffle draw, with winners taking home between N5,000 and N100million. 

Speaking at the launch of the “Eko Token”, which is a partnership initiative with Cash Token Africa, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said “it is a healthy innovation to complement other initiatives and measures that have been put in place by this administration to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on citizens and businesses in the State”. 

Represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Cecilia Mobolaji Dada, the Governor expressed optimism that the initiative would be sustained because it is built on mutual benefits between businesses and the people, stressing that the unique partnership with the private sector will foster a robust and sustainable tripod relationship involving Businesses, Government and the Good People of Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu said the objective of “Eko Token” in the long term is to ensure that an average of 10 percent of consumer expenditure is offered back as rewards to Lagosians in a system that is profitable.

According to the Governor, it is anticipated that the concept will increase patronage of Lagos businesses from five to eight per cent; create about 10,000 direct and indirect job opportunities; and generate minimum cash reward from participating businesses across multiple industries. 

He said customers who buy airtime, electricity bill tokens, transportation tickets, food, insurance, petrol, cinema tickets, financial services and fast-moving commodities, among others, will enjoy rewards for patronising businesses that subscribe to “Eko Token”, while the business owners would witness increased turnover from clients who undertake repeat purchases.

Also speaking at the occasion, Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, said the idea is timely for social inclusion and financial resources to cushion the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arobieke pointed out that Governor Sanwo-Olu keyed into the initiative due to its ability to cushion the effects of the pandemic, saying “If a Lagosian goes to any store, he can get rewarded. This is why we see it as a good initiative and we have keyed into it. Mr. Governor has seen the relevance at a time like this and he has given approval for its implementation. It is sustainable because it’s a way for companies to say thank you to their customers for being part of their successes”.

In his address, the Chairman of the event and former Governor of Lagos State, Otunba Olufemi Pedro, maintained that the development heralds a new era of strong, creative and economic alignment between the people and the Government of Lagos State.

According to him, the initiative is a creative system of synergistic endeavour to bring people together and create wealth for them. He mentioned that the system offers benefits, not only for merchants but also a credit mechanism to buyers for a patronage reward.

He expressed confidence that as a vision, which is first-of-its-kind and unprecedented in Africa, the partnership would soon attract band wagon effects for other parts of Africa to emulate and called all Lagos residents to join the train by patronising businesses enlisted with the reward programme.

There were goodwill messages by dignitaries at the event including the Chairman, CashToken Africa, Mr. Taiwo Olashore, who said the strategic economic position of Lagos makes it attractive to develop a creative system of wealth redistribution.

Other speakers commended were the CEO, Cash Token Africa, Lai Labode, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube; Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Sustainable Development Goals and Lagos Investment Office, Mrs. Solape Hammond; Director-General, Public Private Partnership Office, Lagos State, Mr. Ope George; Chairman, Lagos State Lottery Board, Mr. Bashir Are; Public Affairs Analyst, Prof. Pat. Utomi and the Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Godfrey Efeurhobo.