Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that in the next four years, the Federal Government would take a more active look at how to scale up its interventions, the reason for which the Federal Government is setting up an Entrepreneurship Bank which is one of the key ways by which it could directly finance entrepreneurship. At the moment, a lot of entrepreneurship activities are, according to him, built around the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the Bank of Industries (BOI) and several other banks. The VP said government needs to devote a whole financial institution to look at how to develop entrepreneurship and how to encourage small and medium size enterprises.
The Vice President made the statement at the National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit held in Abuja on Thursday 23 May, 2019.
He added: “I understand that today, 10 of you will be walking away from this Summit with N1 million each, courtesy of the Federal Government of Nigeria and 12 months Personal Mentorship Programme courtesy of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Another 10 will win 12 months Mentorship Programme (bringing the total to 20 mentorships).
“The truth is that a lot of these initiatives are not on scale. We have several initiatives and several thousands have benefitted but to make the kind of impact that we want to make we simply have to do something that can deal with hundreds of thousands of people as opposed to a few thousands.”
Below is the full text of the Vice President’s speech:
Remarks By His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, Vice President, Federal Republic Of Nigeria at the National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit held in Abuja on Thursday 23 May, 2019.
First let me say how very excited I am to be here. I don’t think there is any place that is better to be than here in this place today, where there is so much talent, so much energy, and so much enthusiasm, I am really pleased I was able to make it.
I am also delighted to have been invited to this summit – this National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit, which as you know is an activity that has been put together in celebration of the Presidential Inauguration 2019.
The specific objectives of this gathering as you are aware by now, was to amongst others, contribute to building your capacity as entrepreneurs in various businesses on the one hand and also providing information to you on the various government interventions and purpose-built programmes, specifically designed for start-ups, and also for small and medium sized enterprises.
The Federal government has in the past four years sought to prioritize initiatives designed to improve the capacity of entrepreneurs and small businesses. These include: Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme; Growth and Employment Project; the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme and many more spearheaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Bank of Industry and the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment.
The truth is that a lot of these initiatives are not on scale. We have several initiatives and several thousands have benefitted but to make the kind of impact that we want to make we simply have to do something that can deal with hundreds of thousands of people as opposed to a few thousands. And that is the reason why in the next four years it is our intention to take a more active look at how to scale up the interventions of the Federal Government. This is why we are setting up an Entrepreneurship Bank which is one of the key ways by which we can directly finance entrepreneurship. At the moment a lot of entrepreneurship activities are built around the CBN or the BOI and several other banks, but we think that we need to devote a whole financial institution to look at how to develop entrepreneurship and how to encourage small and medium size enterprises.
In the past three days, you have been taught by some of the best in various businesses, most of them with very compelling stories. The subtext of every one of the testimonies you have heard is that it doesn’t matter what challenges you face, with steadfastness, courage and innovation your business will succeed.
Let me add to your store of ideas. If you have what everyone is looking for you will succeed. What are people looking for? I will tell you three things that everybody is looking for.
The first is: People love excellence, even if they themselves are not excellent or cannot produce excellent things, they want excellence. A well-crafted work; well-laid tiles, (if you lay tiles); well-tailored clothes, (if you are designer); straight lines in a building, if you are a builder, it entails spending time, bringing whatever you do to a level of excellence. Excellence is the difference between great success and the ordinary.
Two: People want trustworthy individuals to do business with. Everybody wants to do business with a man or woman of integrity. So, ensure you can be trusted. A man or woman who you can entrust with money and who will not steal it or cheat you, those kinds of people are the long distance runners, they always make it to the end. Once you can be trusted you have opened the doors of great opportunities.
Finally, people are in search of hardworking persons, people who make no excuses for late delivery, or non-performance. There is nothing more annoying than a person who is offering a service and is full of excuses for not delivering the job promptly.
If you have these three attributes, I guarantee you that money will run after you, for the world is in search of men and women of excellence, integrity and hard work.
We truly believe that our nation is as strong and prosperous as those of you in this room, your skills, talents and hardwork are what nations require to become great. And so, we are deliberate in evolving plans, programmes and initiatives to promote youth development.
I understand that today, 10 of you will be walking away from this Summit with N1 million each, courtesy of the Federal Government of Nigeria and 12 months Personal Mentorship Programme courtesy of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Another 10 will win 12 months Mentorship Programme (bringing the total to 20 mentorships).
In the area of skills acquisition, the best 7 in skills set, will win the sum of N200, 000 each, courtesy of the Federal Government, to help kick- start your businesses.
I congratulate all the winners and commend all of you for recognizing the need for continuous education and networking for business success. Let me sincerely thank the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Heirs Holdings for their support in this programme, the mentors they provided to judge the submissions and hand-hold 20 businesses for the next 12 months.
We are also grateful to the Jimi Tewe Company, for the line-up of great young Nigerians who have excelled in various businesses and that have poured themselves without holding back into you all, for the growth of our nation. So also Eventti Planners for the coordination and logistics of pulling this off.
Let me also specially commend the 2019 Presidential Inauguration Planning Committee, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in particular for this very important initiative.
To all our young entrepreneurs and business people, I wish you good fortune and God’s favour as you grow your businesses to the next level.
Thank you and God bless.