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Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has officially kick start the disbursement of N100,000.00 each to 1100 youths under the Ignite Ideas Contest powered by Chair Centre, After Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), Lagos State Government, Digital Jewels and Genera.

Speaking at the event which took place at Excel Events Centre in Oregun, founder of the Chair Centre Mrs Ibukun Awosika said she got “Ignited” to empower youth by her own background as an entrepreneur. Having succeeded over the years with her business as her company marked its 25th anniversary, she felt it was high time she made entrepreneurs who will be celebrating their 25th anniversary when her company will be celebrating its 50th anniversary.

To commemorate her company’s 25th anniversary, she said her initial plan was to give a 100 people, a N100, 000.00 each as seed capital to enable them start up their own business. However, the Lagos State Government heard about the initiative and decided to sponsor 1000 more youths, making a total of 1100 entrepreneurs.

She concluded, saying the Ignite Ideas Contest was open to youths, who have the discipline, commitment and desire to excel.

Also present at the event, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Mrs Shola Owuru stated that she was encouraged by the number of youths who have applied urging them as pioneers of the contest, to be good ambassadors by ensuring that they promptly repay the loan that will be given to them so that the money can be recycled and others can benefit.

She stressed that the loan was interest and collateral free.

In his words, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) said the issue of unemployment amongst youths is an emerging problem and Nigeria need not have business with unemployment because the economy was in need of different services.

He reiterated that LASG in collaboration with Ministry of Commerce and industry had focus on making entrepreneurs by trying to make youths take interest in what they were not interested in i.e. farming, saying his generation for instance, did not expect graduate to farm. In a bid to achieve this, he said his administration found a partner in Mrs Ibukun Awosika.

He advised youths who have been shortlisted for the loan to count themselves privileged stressing that having passed through the submission and presentation stage, the youths should do the necessary documentation that will enable them get the loan to start up their businesses and ensure that the loans are paid back to keep the programme revolving so that other youths can benefit.

So far, 174 youths have successfully completed the necessary documentation that makes them eligible for the loan. However, those yet to apply can do soHERE