Some contestants in the Next TITAN Nigeria Season 6 – a television reality programme – have called on governments and corporate organisations to support platforms that could promote entrepreneurship among the youth.
The Next TITAN Nigeria is an entrepreneurship reality show, which focuses on harnessing the entrepreneurial ideas of young people and providing them with seed funds to turn their ideas to businesses or grow their existing businesses.
The theme for this year’s edition – Season Six – which has 16 finalists is “Impossible is Possible.”
According to the organisers, the show, the sixth in the series, gives an opportunity to young Nigerians with innovative business ideas to compete with one another in real-life entrepreneurial challenges.
This is in a bid to win a prize which will enable them to start businesses or build existing businesses.
Miss Amifeoluwa Yakubu, one of the remaining eight contestants, told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that the show should be celebrated and supported by governments, private organisations and individuals, as a strategy to reduce unemployment.
Yakubu is involved in mass production of garments and branded apparels and specialising in school uniforms, branded shirts and outfits for companies.
“We all know that there is a high level of unemployment especially among the growing youth population in the country.
“This competition is one of the ways to ensure that such a challenge is reduced.
“It usually lasts for 10 weeks, and we are in the eighth week; we have gone through six tasks, with this current one, the 7th,” she said.
According to her, whenever young people delve into entrepreneurship, creating jobs and solving societal problems, they should be seen as heroes and encouraged, supported and celebrated.
Yakubu called on governments to create an environment that would encourage young persons to project their skills and be job providers instead of job seekers.
“Such a programme as this, which has been on for the past six years and has produced five winners, created jobs, added values to the economy, needs to be supported,” she told NAN.
Another contestant, Mr Adebiyi Ajayi, a lawyer, told NAN that entrepreneurship remained a key to self-sufficiency.
According to him, the value placed on acquisition of degrees is partly responsible for the high rate of unemployment in the country.
“I am a lawyer by training but delved into business. I am a real estate entrepreneur; what we do essentially is to ensure that services in the real estate sector are done timely with excellence.
“We are looking at bringing inclusion and accessibility to the real estate market in Nigeria.
“For this show, we are equally looking at ways for us to be able to get more partnership, sponsorship and investment and make it something every Nigerians entrepreneur can identify with in the future – something African that will assist in repositioning nations’ economies.
“One unique thing about this show has remained its consistency. This is the sixth season and it is not easy for something that has to do with entrepreneurship or business to last so long,” he said.
NAN reports that the grand finale of the show comes up on Dec. 10, with the winner going home with N7 million and a brand new Ford.
The 16 finalists emerged after regional auditions in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Lagos.
Edited by Adeboye Ajayi/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) says it is embarking on local production of medical and pharmaceutical products, to improve access to healthcare in the country.
Dr Obi Adigwe, Director-General (DG) of NIPRD, disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Sunday in Abuja.
He said the production of the products would also boost socio-economic growth in the country.
According to him, the country is blessed with numerous medicinal plants with huge medical and pharmaceutical potentials that were not being exploited.
Adigwe said the institute had already produced a sickle cell drug which would soon be in the market.
“We are harnessing abundant natural resources with phyto-medical and ethno-pharmaceutical potential for research and production of pharmaceutical products.
“We have come up with one of the best phyto-medicines for sickle cell anaemia called NIPRISAN, currently under licensing agreement with May and Baker.
“What we did in the past was conducting research and taking it to the market. Now, we have decided to partner with those who are good in business to help market the products of our research.
“Later in the year, NIPRISAN would be in the market, and it will be very effective for treating sickle cell anemia,’’ he said.
The DG said that NIPRD had access to research that was ignored in the past, which the institute would now start transforming into finished products.
He said that the focus was to achieve a remarkable improvement in healthcare and also improve the socio-economic conditions of Nigerians.
“NIPRD has done a review of some of the research.
“We prioritised those that can improve access to healthcare, while at the same time touching on basic socio-economic indices of government, job creation, knowledge transfer, capacity building and revenue generation, for individual stakeholders and government.
“Rather than wait for stakeholders to come to us, we have started going out to engage them about our numerous life-changing initiatives,’’ he said.
Adigwe said that NIPRD, under his watch, had also engaged some state governments on how to transform certain raw materials in their states into revenue-yielding medical products.
He said that some of such materials have been identified in some specific states.
“We have engaged about 10 state governors to take a new look at some of the natural resources that exist in their localities and how we can process them into finished products.
“Those localities will have the capacity of their local people to build, they will start to generate revenue from those resources and they will have knowledge transfer.
“An example we usually give is `eucalyptus’ in Kaduna state, an essential oil which has a strong-aromathereupatic effect.
“We found out that most of the eucalyptuses in the market is imported, but Kaduna has more than 10,000 hectares of it, and NIPRD has the technology to process it,’’ he said.
The NIPRD said the institute was presently engaging the Kaduna state government for partnership in that regard.
He added that a similar engagement with the Katsina state government on processing of neem was ongoing.
He assured that all 36 states of the federation had similar natural plants that could be exploited for health, as well as economic benefits.
“Katsina state has a lot of Azadirachta indica (neem) in the wild. India makes around one billion dollars from neem every year, but in Nigeria, we use our own shade.
“We have also started engaging the Katsina state government on that. We are currently at various stages of engagement with about 10 states.
“New thinking has demonstrated to some of the governors that pharmaceutical research and development can actually be a big catalyst for socio-economic development.
“Countries like India, China and Bangladesh have used the model and recorded varied degrees of successes,’’ he said.
Ex- international, Felix Owolabi, has urged Nigerians not to rebuke the Super Eagles following Sunday’s loss to the Desert Foxes of Algeria in the semi final of the AFCON in Egypt.
He made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Monday while reacting to the team’s 2-1 defeat.
Owolabi noted that the team performed better than he had expected, adding that he would give them credit for their hard work.
“Bashing these young players will be cruel, for me they did excellently well, now that we are playing for third place, we need to encourage them.
“We need to psychologically push them forward because right now, I can imagine how they feel, I know that feeling too well, so no need to be mean to them.
“I won’t even lie, I didn’t expect them to come this far in the tournament given the fact that I perceive that Gernot Rohr as a coach lacks tact.
When asked on what the squad should do to ensure that they come out victorious on Wednesday for the third place match against Tunisia, he urged the players to play like gunning for the top trophy.
“I know at times like these, some players will start giving excuses because they believe playing for third place position is not such a big deal.
“I remember in 1978, the same thing happened to us, we lost against Uganda, a team we considered not to be at par with us when it comes to good football.
“We were demoralised, so I’m talking from experience, they need to put their defeat behind them and focus on winning the third place match.
Akure, April 16, 2019 Ondo State Government has called for partnership with well-to-do individuals by establishing skills acquisition centres in every nook and cranny of the state.
The Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr Saka Ogunleye, made the call in Akure on Tuesday where primary school pupils and secondary school students were being trained on fashion designing.
Ogunleye expressed government’s readiness to partner with any organisation that embarks on such venture.
“We are happy to assist organisations helping to train our young ones to get engaged outside government by being self-reliant.
“Everything is being done from sports to vocational skills to make the young ones useful to themselves and the society.
“That informed our decision for setting up soccer academy to catch young ones in early stage and nurture them to stardom as being practiced in advanced countries.
“The government of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has also set up various skills acquisition centres across the state.
“Yet, we welcome private people, particularly the rich ones to join hands with us by borrowing a leaf from this centre,” he said.
Miss Kolawole Temilola, who originated the programme, said she attended a three-week training programme at Ode Omu (Osun State), where selected youths were trained on various forms of skills acquisition.
“It was at this training programme that we were trained on fashion designing.
“We were also trained on ways of making money through fashion designing.
I decided to start the training with kids of between ages of 9-12 years, ‘’ Temilola said.
A Trainer and Chief Executive Officer of Yintaz Fashion, Grace Akpalakor, said the training was meant to arouse the entrepreneurship spirit of the trainees.
Akpalakor commended the state government for supporting the idea, saying, “it would serve as an encouragement for others’’.
One of the participants, a young girl, Sousa Modupe said the programme had opened her eyes to the possibility of becoming self-employed and even an employer of labour in future.
The young girl later took the commissioner’s measurement for sowing short and long sleeve native dresses.
The three-week training programme is being sponsored by the state Ministry of Youth and Sports.
By Millicent Ifeanyichukwu
Lagos, Feb. 18, 2019 (NNN) Tosin Oribamise, 2018 Youth Olympic Games table tennis player, on Monday said that support by relevant authorities contributed much to her success so far.
Oribamise told the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) in Lagos that the support enabled her to participate in the African Senior Championships in Mauritius, African Youth Games in Algeria, and Youth Olympics in Argentina.
She hailed the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports for prompt responses which, she said, made 2018 an eventful year for her.
“Encouragement is very vital, and I am getting it in my career; last year, I participated in three major international championships with the support of the authorities.
“It was really an eventful year for me because my participation in those competitions gave me much exposure, upgraded my ranking and helped me to improve in my skills.
“I commend the NTTF Board for always being there for us, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports for living up to expectations in various build-up stages to the championships,” she said.
The Ekiti-born player, however, solicited for more support, urging the ministry to give more attention to table tennis.
The final year student of the Ekiti State University told NNN that she had been able to combine sports with academics as a result of consideration given to her by the school authorities.
The tennis star said that education was fundamental in life.
“Sports and education can together; it is obtainable here, in our country; both are very important especially for young people to be able to strike a balance.
“Whenever I have a competition to attend, I inform the school authorities, which usually grant me permission, and if I miss anything, a makeup is always organised for me,’’ Oribamise added.
NNN reports that Oribamise, a top-ranked NTTF player, has represented Nigeria in continental and intercontinental championships, World Junior Cadet Circuit in Egypt in 2015, World Junior Championships, South Africa, in 2016.
She led the female national team to the World Junior and Cadet Championships held in Tunisia in 2017. (NNN)
Edited by Ijeoma Popoola
By Afusat Agunbiade-Oladipo
Ilorin, Dec.18, 2018(NNN) The Kwara Government on Wednesday called on pilgrims participating in 2018 Holy Pilgrimage to Israel and Rome to pray for the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming general elections.
The Deputy Governor, Mr Peter Kisira, made the appeal at a valedictory service held for the pilgrims at the Christ House of Freedom Ministries, Pipeline Ilorin.
He urged them to offer special prayers for peace and tranquility in the state and the nation in general as nation moved to the next general elections.
He also advised the pilgrims to portray themselves and Nigeria in good light during their stay in the holy land.
He implored them to obey the rules of the host countries and revealed that the state had no negative records on pilgrimage.
He noted that the state government had prepared necessary grounds for the State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board to make their stay in the Holy land memorable and eventful.
He commended the pilgrims for their commitment and desire to visit to embark on the journey.
The leader of delegation and Special Assistant on Religion Christian Affairs, Rev. Cornelius Fawenu, thanked the state government for its support and encouragement and making the trip a success.
Rev. Mike Adeyemi of the Vineyard Christian Centre, Ilorin called on the pilgrims to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ and pray for the nation.
Speaking on the theme: “In His Steps’’ Adeyemi implored them to have strong faith in the Lord and show love to others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that 75 pilgrims are taking part in the 2018 exercise from Kwara. (NNN)
Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Julius Toba Jegede
By Ibrahim Bello
Birnin Kebbi, Dec. 24,2018 (NNN) Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, says the state government is committed to investment in electricity so as to ensure regular supply in all local government areas of the state.
Bagudu made this known when he met with Managing-Director and Chief Executive Officer of Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Mr Chiedu Ugbo, who paid him a courtesy visit in Birnin Kebbi on Monday.
He assured that the uninterrupted electricity supply currently being enjoyed in the state would be sustained and improved upon.
“The state government will provide encouragement and support for the completion of the ongoing installation of power lines, provision of transformers and other essential facilities to achieve the target in the supply of electricity in the state,” he said.
Bagudu expressed satisfaction over the level of work at the ongoing construction of Yauri-Zuru-Argungu sub-stations as well as additional lines in the two areas.
He commended the managing director for ensuring regular electricity supply to the nation while urging the company to sustain the tempo.
Earlier, Ugbo had commended Bagudu for his steadfastness in ensuring stability of power supply to all parts of the state.
He said that the company was working hard to surmount the present challenges to provide uninterrupted power supply across the country in compliance with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The managing director acknowledged the contributions of the governor to the success of the operational capability of the Niger Delta Holding Company. (NNN)
Edited by Shittu Obassa/Maharazu Ahmed
By Ifeanyi Olannye
Asaba, Dec. 29, 2018 (NNN) Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta said on Saturday that Nigeria would greatly miss the late former President Shehu Shagari’s regular counsel on national issues and mediations for peaceful coexistence.
Okowa made this known in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Aniagwu in Asaba.
“Shagari, embarked on the distribution of seed and fertiliser to farmers to increase nationwide productivity in farming.
“He was a legendary public servant, who dedicated his life to the service of our nation in several capacities – as minister, legislator, and finally as president.
“Shagari’s unwavering commitment to the unity of Nigeria had been a major encouragement to many governments.
“He made personal sacrifices to help lay the foundation for sustainable democracy in Nigeria before he was overthrown in 1983.
“As a country, we will miss his wise counsel on national issues and peaceful co-existence especially now that the nation is entering an election year,” Okowa said.
He added that the late Shagari worked assiduously to improve the livelihood of many poor and underprivileged people through the Green Revolution programme, which he initiated.
“Our condolences to Nigerians, the Government and people of Sokoto State and Shagari’s family over the demise of the former president.
“We commiserate with the entire Shagari village, the Sokoto Caliphate, and the Shagari family, over the loss of the ex President.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta State, I join the entire nation and the people of Sokoto State to mourn the passing of former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who was President in the Second Republic,” he said.
The governor prayed the almighty God to receive his soul and grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss. (NNN)
Edited by Mustapha Sumaila/Emmanuel Yashim
INEC vows to prosecute violators of electoral laws in Edo
Benin, Jan. 14, 2019(NNN) The Independent National Electoral commission(INEC) in Edo on Monday promised to prosecute violators of electoral laws during the 2019 general elections.
Mr Emmanuel Alex-Hart, the Edo Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC), announced this at an interactive session with traditional rulers in Benin.
Alex-Hart said the commission had concluded plans to work with the security agencies to deal with violators of electoral laws during the 2019 general elections.
“We want to reassure Nigerians that we are aware of the new tricks. it is a futile effort. We will work with the security agencies to deal with the violators of our electoral laws.
“This includes those who may be trying to compromise our staff responsible for making the PVCs available for collection by legitimate voters,” he said.
The commissioner disclosed that the commission had made arrangements for those who are yet to collect their PVCs to do so from Jan. 16 to 21 at designated centres in their wards.
According to the commissioner, after Jan. 21, the collection of PVCs will revert to the commission’s local government offices where registered voters can collect them up till Feb. 8.
He also explained to the traditional rulers that the final register for the 2019 general elections stood at 84,004,084 voters, adding that the same register would be made available in all polling units nationwide on election day.
Alex-Hart thanked the royal fathers for their support and encouragement so far.
He said that the build up to the general elections was quite tasking, adding that with the support of stakeholders, especially royal fathers in the state, INEC had been able to weather the storm
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II who was represented by Chief sam Igbe, welcomed stakeholders to the interactive session and prayed for the successful conduct of the elections(NNN)
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman
By Ifeanyi Olannye
Asaba, Jan. 15, 2019 (NNN) Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Tuesday led dignitaries and top government officials to lay wreaths in honour of the fallen heroes to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in Asaba.
The governor had earlier inspected the Guard of Honour mounted by the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Nigerian Legion.
Both Christian and the Muslim clerics prayed for the nation, the armed forces and the families of the fallen heroes.
The high-points of the occasion were gunshots and the release of pigeons to symbolise peace and unity.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN), the legionnaire pleaded for support and empowerment considering the present economic realities, saying that pensions alone could not sustain their families.
Retired Capt. Timothy Ayodele, Assistant Secretary, Oshimili South Local Government Area (LGA) Nigerian Legion, said that they were capable of doing additional work to support their families.
He appealed to government to re-engage them in the state task forces to promote environmental sanitation.
“We that went to war; fought the war and returned from the war; we are retired but not tired. We can support the tax officers, task forces to ensure environmental sanitation in the state.
“So, we want the state government to engage us and not leave us redundant,’’ Ayodele said.
Retired Master Warrant Officer Fidelis Okolo said that their pension stipends were being paid regularly by the government but noted that the commissioned officers had taken over the affairs of legionnaires in the state.
“Those commissioned to help the legion are the commissioners. As we speak, only a few legionnaires are at the parade ground, the rest are commissioners, ‘’ Okolo said.
Retired Warrant Officer Sunday Ifedi, Vice Chairman, Oshimili South Legion, expressed dismay at the plight of the families of the retired soldiers and fallen heroes, saying those who were capable to work to sustain their families never got engaged.
He called on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the legion and their families.
“We need help from the state government; we need help from the LGAs to ensure the welfare of our people; and particularly from the Oshimili South LGA to assist us the retirees with an office to hold our meetings.
“For our women, government should empower them through the empowerment programme by giving them sewing machines and pepper grinding machines to enable them keep their homes and train their children, ‘’ Ifedi said.
Mrs Bridget Eboma, Public Relations Officer, National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS), Delta Chapter, said that the event should be impactful to the legionnaire.
“The occasion should be done periodically, quarterly and provide some encouragement packages for the retirees and the families of the fallen heroes as a form of empowerment not only in Delta but the entire country.
“It is not enough to come on annual basis to celebrate them when their widows and children are going through hell. They made great sacrifice to keep Nigeria as one indivisible entity; they deserve more.
“Though, the state government is doing its best, we want those wealthy individuals in our society to support the families of the fallen heroes,’’ she said.
Eboma advised the families of the fallen heroes to brace up to the challenge and endeavour to train their children to make them better citizens.(NNN)
Edited by Shittu Obassa/Adeleye Ajayi