I want to seize this opportunity to thank all youths who participated in the Small and Medium Scale Business Proposal competition organized by The Council on Youth Empowerment which is a non profit body I set up to empower Nigerian youths in business as a direct affirmation of my belief that Nigeria will not grow rich by what is under the ground rather her wealth will come for what is between her peoples ears particularly the youth.
The winners have emerged and I congratulate Aboyowa Etchie, who won the first prize with his proposal on a fish farm. I also congratulate Ikechukwu Anthony Ndibe who won second prize for his proposal on producing locally made wigs for sale to Law School graduands at a cheaper cost than imported wigs. Both winners will receive $5,000 to start up their businesses. They will also receive business start up assistance and mentoring by members of the Council which includes Otto Williams who has an MBA from the University of California in Berkeley and has passed through the Haas school of Business. Pastor Mike Iyoke, a Youth Pastor and head of Michael Iyoke Ministries based in Benin. Pastor Iyoke is also a lawyer with 10 years post call experience. Also on the Council is Malam Salihu Lukman, a Nigerian reformist and youth enthusiast.
The winners will be presented with a cheque at a ceremony in Abuja sometime this month. Let me add that my belief in the youth of Nigeria is total and I make a commitment today to always lend myself and my talents to any venture that will promote positive virtues in Nigeria’s youth.
I also call on all those who like me benefitted from free education to give back to society particularly the youth. This is all the more important today when the Nigerian education sector is faced with so many challenges and is not able to function for the benefit of our youth in ways that it did when we were children. Hopefully when we all play our part, Nigerian youths will in the not too distant future say farewell to poverty as envisioned by chief M.K.O Abiola over 17 years ago.
Malam Nasir El Rufai