The founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu has promised to empower 1000 young entrepreneurs in northern Nigeria.
Elumelu made the promise at the Bayero University Kano (BUK) on Saturday while receiving Doctor of Business Administration, Honoris Causa from the university.
He said the new empowerment opportunity strictly reserved for young business-minded northerners will run for 12 weeks after which successful beneficiaries will receive $5,000 each to build their business empires.
Elumelu, who unveiled the scheme in BUK, stressed that Nigeria has no business with poverty if only concerned authorities deployed the needful policy strategy to explore deposited talents abound in the country.
The philanthropist expressed worries over challenges of job opportunity deficit of enabling business environment.
He restated his foundation’s commitment to collaboration with stakeholders to build millions of entrepreneur in Africa.
He also called on the federal government to abolish multiple taxes for small and micro businesses and ease the process of business registration, so as to further grow economic viability in the country.
“The Tony Elumelu Foundation has in the last five years supported 7,250 young entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Northern Nigeria has deposit of 1,000 of this number.
“These new 1,000 entrepreneurs that will be selected in August are exclusive for youths from northern extraction.
“The initiative is to produce direct job opportunity and Business Empire among young talented youths in the North.
“While the private sector is supporting the youths, the Federal government should provide enabling environment.
“Our education must work. Health sector should be improved upon. National prosperity cannot be achieved without wide spread empowerment.”
He added: “Today, you graduated 10, 000 people, the point is, are they going to get jobs?
“Are they going to be able to use their brain or find ideas for developing themselves and their communities?
“The point is we know the level of unemployment have today in Nigeria. The President has recently said that he wants to lead 100 million Nigerians out poverty.
“This is very commendable and I want every one of us to applaud him for that act, we have to commend him and support him.
“All of us, the federal government, the state government, the local government, the private sector, wealthy Nigerians, friends of Nigerians must work together to make this happen.
“The federal government must create the enabling environment that will enable this succeed. We cannot lift 100 million people out of poverty if we don’t have access to electricity.
“We cannot lift people out of poverty if the transportation system is not good; we can only achieve this when we have access to electricity and other social amenities.
“Another thing that is important is making sure that we grow our economy in a manner that is inclusive.
“Our young ones need to be involved in what is happening in the country. Our women need to be also economically empowered and involved.”
In his remarks, the pro-chancellor of the university, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari urged the private sector to compliment government investment on education.
The former Nigerian permanent representative at the United Nations also called for new strategic approach end banditry, kidnapping and other security threats in the country.
Earlier, the vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Mohammed Yauza Bello had disclosed that 9,583 first degrees and higher degrees graduated with 105 graduating with first class.
With The nation report