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President Muhammadu Buhari

FG urges young innovators from North-Central, South-East to apply for economic empowerment

President Muhammadu Buhari

By Biola Lawal

 The Federal Government has opened invitation for young potential innovators and entrepreneurs from the North-Central and South-East regions to apply for support under its private-sector led “Startup Nigeria’’ empowerment programme.

Mr Godwin Arigbonu, the Communication Associate of the programme said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Arigbonu said “applications into the Startup Nigeria programme by the coordinating private firms would be opened from April 7 to April 19.

“Interested candidates are invited to apply via the website www.startupnigeria.ng to take advantage of this opportunity and have their innovative ideas taken from mind to market,’’ he said.

He assured them that the empowering programme would help hem a great deal in entrepreneurship development team ‘’with the powerful backing of the government.’’

Arigbonu said The Startup Nigeria coordinating private firms, which he described as Emerging Platforms, were partnering with Ventures Platform Foundation and Genesys Tech Hub to implement the programme in the North-Central and South-Eastern for the Federal Government.

He, however, said the programme “has been designed by the Federal Government to help Nigerians with amazing, innovative ideas, create viable products go to market and gain traction’’.

“The Startup Nigeria project is an incubation programme in partnership with existing hubs and enterprise development organisations for young Nigerian startups in the North-Central and South-East regions in the early traction phase of their enterprises.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Startup Nigeria is being anchored by the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) in the Office of the Vice President as part of the Federal Government’s support for Innovation Hubs across the country.

He said the current programme “will mainly be focused on finding startups/innovators who either had ideas or start-up to solve the challenges of agriculture and governance in the North-Central region.

According to Arigbonu, the programme will also look into commerce and finance in the South-Eastern areas of Nigeria.

He noted that the implementation of the programme was a fulfilment of Federal Government’s promise to support entrepreneurial growth in the country.

“ The APC-led government of Nigeria has made great strides in fulfilling its promise to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the nation by partnering with existing enterprise development organisations across the country,” he said.

Vice-President Yemi Osinabjo had stated that the Federal Government would support eight private sector-led innovation hubs in the country with one in each of the six geo-political zones of the country with Lagos and Abuja having each of the private sector-led hubs.

Arigbonu quoted the partnering firms as assuring that “the entire programme would be transparent, adding that ‘’everyone is invited to be a part of the journey by connecting with Startup Nigeria’s social media platforms.

The platforms, according to him are; – @startsng – on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for people to leave feedback and support the selected candidates.

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