Dignitaries attending 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation’s (TEF) programme have canvassed for the establishment of Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank to provide the needed funding for African entrepreneurs on the African continent.
Among the dignitaries, who endorsed the setting up of special bank yesterday in Abuja, included Nigeria’s Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adeshina, Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu and some Africa heads of state in attendance.
Rwanda President Paul Kegame, President of Senegal, Macky Sall, President of Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi and Prime Minister of Uganda, Ruhakana Rugunda endorsed the establishment of s special bank dedicated to cater for entrepreneurship funding.
Speaking at the Founder’s Presidential Dialogue session at the event, Osinbajo said time had come for proper funding of entrepreneurs.
He said the need to increase the funding support for entrepreneurs was borne out of the conviction that it would help create jobs, reduce poverty and boost economic development.
He described the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme as a huge success, adding that at a time when the continent is being defined by unsavoury and unwholesome stories, beneficiaries of the initiative are changing the narrative.
“I am glad that a number of African governments are represented here. We are challenged to create the enabling environment for all of these young entrepreneurs to thrive. Our continent continues to be defined by unsavoury and unwholesome stories, which do not often accurately represent the reality of life and opportunities. The people in this room are the perfect and long-awaited counterpoints to those one-dimensional narratives of Africa that have sadly gained ground over the years,” he said.
“We must fund young entrepreneurs and provide opportunities for capacity building. Our school curriculums must emphasise not just stem but critical thinking and entrepreneurship. And the promise of entrepreneurship banks must be kept,” he added.
When asked what the Federal Government is doing to support entrepreneurs through infrastructure development, the VP said that massive investments are being made in roads, rail, power and other sectors of the economy.
For instance, he said in the last two years, over N2.7trillion had been spent by the Federal Government on critical infrastructure projects.
Earlier, Adeshina called on governments in African countries to focus more on creating the conductive environment to support businesses rather than channelling their attention on Gross Domestic Product growth rate.
He said while it was good to focus on how to grow the GDP, the emphasis should be on economic growth that can create quality jobs for the people.
He also cautioned financial institutions to stop citing risk as a reason for restricting access to entrepreneurship funding, adding that this is the time to come up with safeguards that would mitigate those risks and unlock the needed capital for entrepreneurs.
He said: “It’s time for African leaders to shift from youth empowerment to youth investment. We need to set up a Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank. This bank needs to unlock the entrepreneurial initiative in our youth by looking at assets and not risks.”
In his comments at the event, Elumelu said the future of Africa in terms of development lies in the hand of entrepreneurs.
He said through partnerships from the African Export-Import Bank and other international institutions, the Foundation would provide more funding support to African entrepreneurs.
Zenith Bank Plc has introduced a new feature on its internet banking platform that allows customers apply for Dubai Visa and make the associated Visa fee payment effortlessly.
According to the bank, the new offering is aimed at creating a more convenient and efficient way for Nigerians to apply for Dubai Visa, as a large number of people travel there several times each year.
Customers simply need to log on to the Zenith Bank Internet Banking Platform, select the Dubai Visa tab under the payment menu, fill out their personal information, upload a passport photograph, 6 months bank statement and international passport data page with a minimum of 6 months’ validity from proposed travel date and submit their application.
The Visa fees would be instantly charged to the customer’s account and he/she would be notified of the status of his/her visa application within 36 hours.
Zenith Bank Plc is recognized as one of the most innovative financial institutions in Nigeria and was voted the most customer-focused bank in Nigeria for the Retail and SME segments in the 2018 KPMG Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS).
A front line governorship aspirant for the November 16 gubernatorial election in Kogi state, under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Vice Admiral Jibrin Usman, has said the people of the state are under government of scavengers and must be rescued.
Usman who stated this yesterday, while officially declaring his aspiration to govern Kogi state under the APC, said Kogi state was captured from the PDP, in 2015 due to frantic efforts put together by people who believed in a better Kogi state.
“Kogi State today is governed by section of people who have since lost touch with the ideals and agenda of APC and this have impacted negatively on the people of the state.”
“Under the present crop of leaders ruling Kogi State, there are infrastructural deficits, nonpayment of salaries to state, local government and pensioners, which have led to the untimely death of many civil servants.