Abia to establish innovation platforms for youths
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has directed the setting up of an appropriate platform where innovating young Abians with viable entrepreneurial ideas will participate in a monthly competition programme.
The programme, tagged: “Entrepreneurship support programme,” is aimed at discovering young Abians with innovative ideas, who need minimal financial support to actualize their projects.
The State Information Commissioner, John Kalu, told The Guardian that emerging winners in the competition would be supported financially within the budget approved for the programme to actualize their innovations.
He put the non-refundable financial support to each winner at N1million that will emerge every month, adding that “this programme would be used to raise at least 24 entrepreneurs within the next two years.”
He said the winner in the first competition, Chukwudike Okoroafor, had already been given the financial support to start his chosen piggery farm in Umunneochi LGA.
While presenting the financial support to Okoroafor, the governor, represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Anthony Agbazuere, said the objective of the programme is to support young Abians, who have enterprising ideas but lack the financial resources to take off.
“It has always been our dream to approach empowerment from a different perspective rather than the traditional means of giving tricycles (Keke NAPEP) to graduates as empowerment.
“We want to support ideas because it is what rules the world and I know there are many young Abians with brilliant ideas we can support as long as they meet our criteria,” he stated.
Appreciating the government for the programme the first beneficiary, Okoroafor, assured the governor that he would not disappoint him.
Kalu therefore called on youths resident in the state to submit their proposals, saying the programme is open to all areas of entrepreneurship that can be funded within the monthly one million naira limit.
He further said in line with the Governor’s drive to attract young Abians into horticulture, landscaping and gardening, vacancies now exist for instant employment for the first 10 applicants, including seven engineers in each of the 17 local councils, who will be trained by the State Ministry of Works, and deployed to road maintenance assignments.