The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has initiated an entrepreneurship and empowerment programme for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) posted to carry out their national service with the organisation.
The scheme, which is tagged the “Managing Director’s Annual NYSC Entrepreneurship Competition”, was introduced by AMCON to encourage Corps members to come up with a business plan as entrepreneurs and contest among themselves by making presentations before a panel set up to select the best three realistic business plans that will stand the chance of winning the MD’s cash reward.
At the end of the maiden edition of the initiative, three of the fifteen contestants came tops and were presented cheques of N500,000 each at a ceremony held at AMCON head office in Abuja.
The Corps members who emerged victorious include Joanna Jewel Adamu (FC/21A/1265), Umar Aliyu Gosta (FC/21A/1251) and Abdulsamad Saidu Usman (FC/21A/1046) whose business proposals centered on online art and fashion business; poultry production; and technological innovation respectively.
AMCON Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr Ahmed Lawan Kuru while addressing the participants at the ceremony noted the high rate of graduate unemployment, and the need for stakeholders to work towards steering the mindset of the youths from that of seeking white collar jobs to that of entrepreneurial engagement must be encouraged by institutions both private and public.
Kuru who extoled the empowerment programmes of the Federal Government, started a campaign for the incorporation of functional entrepreneurship training into the nation’s education curriculum.
According to him, AMCON initiated the entrepreneurship programme for Corps members in appreciation of the invaluable contributions of NYSC to national development.
The AMCON boss said the intervention began with the conduct of entrepreneurship training for the Corps members with some members of staff of AMCON volunteering as resource persons.
The Managing Director explained that the introduction of the business plan contest was aimed at providing funds to enable the winners actualise their business dreams and, in the process, contribute to the economic development of the country.
He further stated that aside the winners, many of the other competitors came up with excellent business ideas, adding that the latter group will also be supported with some token. He did not state what that token will be.
In his address, the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, said the scheme had been assiduous in the implementation of its Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme (SAED), adding that many ex-trainees of the programme were now owners of flourishing businesses.
He said Corps members had enormous potentials for self-employment, but added that the challenge was always that of access to fund to actualise their business plans.