Ten young entrepreneurs in various vocational fields in Kwara state have been lifted with a grant of N1m each to grow their businesses. Speaking at the inauguration of Network of Entrepreneurs on Wednesday in Ilorin, the state capital, Convener of the network programme and CEO, Lahmad Concepts, Ahmed Lawal, said the essence of the network was to bring individual business owners together under one umbrella to promote and grow their businesses. He said the network, which has in its fold over 1,000 individual business owners, was also planning to establish a micro finance bank to further assist members with loan facilities to grow their businesses.
“The network is a group of individual entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Entrepreneurship is the way out of the current economic hardship in the country. My belief is that the only way we can take Nigeria out of poverty is not through politics or governance. It is through entrepreneurship. “We are giving out a grant of N10 million for 10 people. Disbursement will be done almost immediately. Because it is a grant, we are not only going to give them money, we are going to give them consultancy and business support. “We are going to help the beneficiaries take their businesses to the next level.
In the next five years, we expect the beneficiaries to be able to give N5m to five individual businessmen or women to grow their businesses,” he said. Also speaking, the state Commissioner of Police, Paul Odama, expressed optimism and confidence in Nigerian youths, noting that a few youths were into vices, thereby giving hope to the country. “When I entered here and looked at the hall, I know that Nigeria will go places. We still have hope in Nigeria and in our youths. I am happy to see so many youths coming in to see on how they will improve on their businesses. The picture out there is that youths are only into yahoo yahoo, criminality and vices or drugs, but seeing so many youths here, I am convinced that it is just an infinitesimal number of our youths is into vices. “In fact, I will be wrong to say, for every 12 there is a Judas. In this case, I will say that for every five million youths there is a Judas.
We have great youths in Nigeria. I want to thank the organisers for inviting the youths and connecting with them in enterprises,” he said. Kwara Central Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC ) in the 2023 genera elections, Mallam Saliu Mustapha, who announced a donation of N5 million grant to support the initiative by Lahmad concepts, also promised to pursue legislation that will encourage more investment in human capital development and skill acquisition, if given the mandate. “Whatever we can do to make sure the youths succeed we must do it because they are the future of tomorrow. “One of the things I will make sure I push, is to make sure we invest more in human capital development and skill acquisition,” he said.