A map of Nigeria

By Joseph Erunke

WORRIED at the state of unemployment in the country, the federal government has promised to register 250,000 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for free.

The government explained that the gesture was part of its measures to tackle unemployment and empower youths in the country.

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said this on Monday in Abuja at the Grand Finale of the 2020 Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge for young leaders’ business start-ups, organised by the Ugwumba Centre for Leadership Development in Africa,UCLDA.

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Noting that youths were a very significant part of any economy, the minister said Nigeria has a large youthful population, which were made up of creative, innovative, agile, and hardworking individuals with the potentials to become global leaders.

Hear him: “However, data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics shows that youths make up 64 percent of the total unemployed Nigerians. Partly as a result of this, many Nigerian youths, being ever resilient have directed their creative energy, ideas, and innovations into establishing MSMEs.

” These now constitute about 96 percent of the total number of enterprises, 50 percent of national GDP and 70 percent of the nation’s workforce.”

According to him, the government has commenced the review of Nigeria’s Investment Policy to promote investments that meet the country’s economic development objectives within the pillars of ‘RIBS’ (Responsible, Inclusive, Balanced and Sustainable Policy framework).

“Right now, under the Economic Sustainability Plan, the government is funding registration for 250,000 MSMEs, which would be registered at zero cost. We also concession two Brownfield Special Economic Zones (SEZs) while commencing work on developing four additional greenfield sites across the country,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the Founder of Ugwumba Centre for Leadership Development in Africa (UCLDA) and a former Commissioner for Land and Urban Development in Imo State, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, explained that one of the initiatives of the Ugwumba Leadership Centre was the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge.

He said: “This is an annual business pitching and grant competition to assist young entrepreneurs and innovators in Africa between 18 and 30 years to turn their skills, ideas, and passions into profitable business ventures and social enterprises.

“This is the third edition of this challenge and this year, winners will win N1m, N700,000; N500,000; N300,000; N200,000 respectively; while the sixth winner will win N100,000 personally donated by the Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo,”

On his part, Chairman of UCLDA and Emir of Dass, in Bauchi State, Alhaji Othman Bilyaminu Usman, tasked the nation’s youths to engage in profitable initiatives, explaining that doing so was in their interest and that of the country at large.

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