By Shina Abubakar
Osogbo— The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Thursday said Nigerian youths have what it takes to produce all goods and services the country needed to survive.
Ooni Ogunwusi expressed this at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ile-Ife, during the official launching of The Gifted Project, an initiative of Engage Diaspora Foundation, targeted at empowering gifted youths across the country.
The monarch Ooni explained that the youth entrepreneurs have displayed high level of ability and capabilities to shoulder the responsibility of technological inventions and innovations.
“All we need to do is to patronize and motivate these people to be able to take the good works to a greater height. I personally, I am a fan of materials and items made locally and that’s what I want all to imbibe towards the growth of our economy.” Ooni Ogunwusi noted as he inspected the products displayed by the exceptional youths.
Top of the event was when the Ooni bought almost all of the goods and services displayed by the entrepreneurs in areas of Science, Technology, Arts & Design, Agriculture and entrepreneurship, adding that he would continue to support their growth.
Earlier in her address, President of Engage Diaspora Foundation, Hajia Opeyemi Aisha Oni, explained that the initiative is structured to support 1,200 local entrepreneurs annually, promote locally produced technologies, facilitate diaspora investment in MSMEs, reduce unemployment through commercialization of viable projects, link entrepreneurs with local and international funding opportunities and provide Covid-19 relief to Nigerians via job creation.
Haija Opeyemi stressed that the participants would enjoy three (3)years of factory space at the nearest Technology Incubation Centre (TIC), subsidized accommodation near the TIC, accelerated patenting rights through NOTAP, access to MSMEs one-stop shop nationwide and access to local and international funding.
“I want to thank the Ooni for his continuous support since the start of this great work. Equally, I commend the Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti for his goodness while I appreciate all our investors and partners for their collaboration.” Hajia Opeyemi noted.
In her goodwill message, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria In Diaspora Commission, Hon. (Mrs) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who took part in the event virtually, commended the Ooni, noting that the initiative will be fully supported by the government.
“We have concluded plans to host the brain behind the programme and all participants to see how to get the best out of our youth entrepreneurs. Our doors are always open and I want to assure you that the future is bright”, Dabiri-Erewa said