The Tony Elumelu Foundation has developed a template to empower 1,000 young entrepreneurs in northern Nigeria in the Foundation’s enlarged interventionist role in developing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
Receiving Doctor of Business Administration, Honoris Causa at Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Elumelu said that the new empowerment fund is strictly reserved for young business-minded northerners and will run for 12 weeks after which successful beneficiaries will receive $5,000 each to build their business empires.
Elumelu was of the view that Nigeria has no business with poverty if authorities in the country deployed necessary policy strategy to explore deposited talents across the country, noting that the Foundation has supported 7,250 young entrepreneurs in the past five years in Nigeria.
“The Tony Elumelu Foundation has in the last five years supported 7,250 young entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Northern Nigeria has deposit of 1,000 of this number.
“These new 1,000 entrepreneurs that will be selected in August are exclusive for youths from northern extraction.
“The initiative is to produce direct job opportunity and Business Empire among young talented youths in the North. “While the private sector is supporting the youths, the Federal Government should provide enabling environment. “Our education must work. Health sector should be improved upon. National prosperity cannot be achieved without wide spread empowerment.
“Today, you graduated 10, 000 people, the point is, are that are they going to get jobs?
“Are they going to be able to use their brain or use find ideas for developing themselves and their communities? The point is we know the level of unemployment have today in Nigeria. “The President has recently said that he wants to lead 100 million Nigerians out poverty. This is very commendable and I want every one of us to applaud him for that act, we have to commend him and support him.
“All of us, the Federal Government, the state government, the Local Government, the private sector, wealthy Nigerians, friends of Nigerians must work together to make this happen.
“The Federal Government must create the enabling environment that will enable this succeed. We cannot lift 100 million people out of poverty if we don’t have access to electricity.
“We cannot lift people out of poverty if the transportation system is not good; we can only achieve this when we have access to electricity and other social amenities. Another thing that is important is making sure that we grow our economy in a manner that is inclusive. Our young ones need to be involved in what is happening in the country. Our women need to be also economically empowered and involved,” Elumelu had declared.