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UNLOCK Initiative: FG disburses N100m grant to 200 beneficiaries

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The Federal government has disbursed the sum of N100 million grant to 200 beneficiaries under the UNLOCK Training Programme.

The UNLOCK Training is an initiative of the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Education (OSSAP-TVEE), targeted at empowering new and existing entrepreneurs, especially in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The beneficiaries of the grant are outstanding individuals, selected out of the 10,000 participants in the two-week training session organised by the OSSAP-TVEE.

Presenting the grants to beneficiaries at the official closing ceremony of the programme on Saturday in Abuja, the SSA to the President on Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Education, Madam Abiola Arogundade, stated that 120 trainees benefiting from the N500,000 grant each, were those with excellent business plans, while 80 existing entrepreneurs perceived to be doing well in their skills were presented with honourary awards.

According to her, the programme, with the purpose of boosting the potential of small business owners, was part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.

All participants, according to the presidential aide, would be issued a certificate of completion and assisted with business registration while deserving individuals would be given solar kiosks for their businesses.

In her words, “We trained about 10,000 participants in a 10-day intensive training session on how to write and execute Business Plans. During the programme, both online and physical participants were trained on the components of a good Business Plan including Executive Summary, Business Overview and Marketing Strategies, Pricing, Money Management and Risks, among others. After the course, participants were asked to write and submit Business Plans. Today, we are giving out N500,000 Naira grants each to 120 winners with the best Business Plans.

“We are also giving out honourary awards to 80 persons seen to be doing very well in their Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship skills but need support to upscale their businesses.

“We also promised to give Certificate of Completion to all participants who completed the training and to assist participants, especially new start-ups, to register their companies. Today, we are here to fulfill those promises.

“The Staff of the Corporate Affairs Commission and those of the Providus Bank are here to respectively issue incorporation certificates and to credit the winners with their N500,000 Naira grants so that none of you will leave here today without your prices.

“There are four Solar Kiosks to be given away to winners to support the business development of their TVET skills. They include one designed for hairdressing, one designed for catering and food vending and the other two for general purposes. Aside from the mentioned professional uses, the kiosks are also equipped with sockets for phone charging and spaces for POS and other businesses. They are among the job creation projects we have designed as part of our contribution to the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Administration”, she added.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye commended the presidential aide for the initiative and urged all beneficiaries to use the grants for the purpose for which it was given.

On his part, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga stressed that skill acquisition cannot be overemphasised especially in Nigeria where the job market is highly competitive.

He however charged Nigerian youths to learn a skill even as the pursue university degree.

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