Oyo State trains 400 Youths on Entrepreneurship

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Oyo State trains 400 Youths on Entrepreneurship, to provide N500k loans
Oyo State trains 400 Youths on Entrepreneurship, to provide N500k loans (Source: PM Express)

The Oyo State Government has trained over 400 youths under the Graduate Industrial Self Emloyment Loan Scheme (GISES)on Entrepreneurial Development Programme (EDP).

The program’s goal is to increase youths’ capability in terms of necessary knowledge and skills, with a particular emphasis on conducting feasibility studies and managing small-scale businesses.

According to best practices from around the world, the government promised to provide qualifying candidates with a loan of N500,000 and mentor them as they develop their business concepts.

The Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, Bayo Lawal, opened the training in Ibadan, the state capital, and stated that the goal of the Entrepreneurial Development Program was to create a welcoming environment for the youth so they could contribute their fair share to reviving the economy through diversification and focus on non-oil sectors, thereby adding value to natural products through industrialization.

Lawal, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr ‘Bunmi Babalola, hailed the efforts of Governor Seyi Makinde in his determination to reposition Oyo State by reviewing the industrial policy of the state to facilitate the development of entrepreneurial skills and self employment among the youths.

He also appreciated Governor Makinde for encouraging effective utilisation of the state’s natural resources, ensuring general improvement through conservation of fereign exchange earnings and approving special funds to assist youths in the manufacturing and service sectors, among others.

Lawal described the Graduate Loan Scheme as one of the tools for addressing the nation’s recurrent unemployment problem.

He argued that the program was not a scam but rather a governor-initiated effort to give young people revolving soft loans so they could start their own businesses while they still had the drive and the mindset to succeed.

He stated: “Though we have seen some of the applicants that say they do not need up to that, we have a competent technical committee comprising members from Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Oyo State Council of Chambers of Commerce (OYCCIMA), Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) & Ibadan Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, to assess the feasibility reports.”

Lawal admonished the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the loan by investing into areas where they had comparative advantage and competency as would be reflected in their business plans, saying they should not see the loan as a largesse that will go down the drains.

Earlier, in her welcome address, the Director, Industry, Mrs Mojeedat Olanrewaju, disclosed that unemployment is one of the causes of the pervasive insecurity in the country.

She said globally, Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (nMSMEs) serve as vehicles of employment creation, self employment, improved internally generated revenue and crime reduction and instruments of youth employment in both rural and urban areas, adding that accessing the loan by the applicants would be determined by the quality of the feasibility study report submitted.

The resource persons, a Production Engineer/ Industrialist, Engr Mukaila Oladipo and a Chartered Accountant, Mr Olufisayo Akintunde, trained the applicants on project implementation and preparation of feasibility report.

One of the applicants, Mr Albert Oyelami, on behalf of others expressed gratitude to Governor Seyi Makinde for the programme and hope that the loan would be disbursed very soon.

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