Vice President Kashim Shettima has advised young Nigerians to continue to nature innovative ideas that will propel them into brighter future.
Shettima gave the advice at the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge 2023, organised by the Ugwumba Centre for Leadership Development in Africa (UCLDA) on Tuesday in Abuja.
UCLDA is a non-political, non-discriminatory, non-profit development organization, established in Nigeria in 2018 to raise a new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs for Africa.\
Shettima, represented by Mrs. Inna Audu, Special Adviser on Humanitarian Affairs, tasked youths to continue to embrace innovations that would lead to job creation and poverty reduction.
“I assure you that money comes to good ideas. So continue what you’re doing and to be encouraging others who may not have reached the level that you have, “ Shettima said.
He also advised organiasations and individuals, to continue to support innovations and business ideas in the country.
Shettima commended the President of UCLDA, Nwosu Ugwumba, for his sustained efforts and support for development of entrepreneurship in the country.
“I’m quite excited with Ugwumba for your laudable initiative and your intervention, I can see that it is working in tandem with the President Bola Tinubu’s agenda of addressing poverty and unemployment.
The winner of the 2023 Ugwumba challenge was Taiwo Akinsanya, CEO Dynalimb Technologies Ltd, with prize of two million Naira.
The first runner up also went home with one million naira; second runner up -N700,000; fourth and fifth positions with N500,000 and N300,000.
The President of UCLDA, Ugwumba congratulated the top winners and others who made it to the 10 top finalists.
Ugwumba said the centre, since the inception of the programme in 2018, had supported more than 5,000 youths and women to start up businesses, to reduce unemployment and poverty in the country.
“To us it is a means of contributing our quota to the development of the society.
“We don’t only train and empower the beneficiaries, we also follow them up to see that they succeed in their businesses,” Ugwumba said.
He encouraged other Nigerians to do their best to touch other people’s lives and make them better.
The Director-General of Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, Dr Abubakar Gambo, described entrepreneurship as a gateway for the development of Nigeria’s economy.
Gambo called on government and major stakeholders to work together to develop entrepreneurship by addressing major problems affecting the development of business in the country.
Gambo listed some of the major problems to include difficulties in securing bank loans, unstable electricity supply, poor infrastructure, multiple taxes and inconsistency in government policies.
“Our banks are now major warehouse for safekeeping of money with little or no access to loan. Something your savings are even deducted with no commeasurable interests.
“Unstable power supply is a major problem to development of entrepreneurship and business in the country. Unless we solve power problem, we are not going to develop as a nation,” Gambo said.
He said that even when a business survived those challenges, it would have to face limited market space due to Nigerians’ preference for foreign products.
“Unless these are resolved Nigeria cannot develop and these will continue to affect the development of businesses in the country,” he said.
He called for improved access to finance, favourable business environment and reduction of taxes to develop entrepreneurship in the country.
He said that development of entrepreneurship would help to eliminate poverty, curb rural-urban migration, drive development in Nigeria and the neighboring countries.
Presenting the programme overview, the Executive Secretary, Remmy Chukwuyere, said it had not only helped many Nigerians to develop their skills, but also to look inward.
He said some of the supported entrepreneurs now exported their products out of Nigeria, earned foreign exchange and contributing to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).(NAN)