Chairman of Silicon Valley Nigerian Economic Development, SV-NED, Chief Temitope Ajayi, Mama Diaspora, (3rd right) and members of the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association, CAPDAN, Computer Village, Lagos led by Mr Jerry Mba, the secretary general, the PRO and Treasurer during the presentation of the motorised wheel chair to Sanni Olarenwaju the crippled computer engineer in Lekki Lagos on Sunday, November 8th.
It was a day of celebration and a dream come true for youths in Lekki area of Lagos who were empowered with interest free loans as startup capital to engage in businesses of their choice after three weeks of intensive training.
The loans and trainings which were facilitated by SV-NED Inc /Silicon Valley Ibeju Lekki Cooperative Multi Purpose Society Limited in collaboration with Global Connection for Women Foundation, GC4W were aimed at equipping the youths to be self dependent as future business leaders.
The youths numbering about 150 so far were given amount ranging from N15000, N20, 000 and above as interest free loans.
Speaking during the presentation of the loans on Sunday, November 8, in Lekki – Lagos, the chairman of Silicon Valley Nigerian Economic Development, SV-NED, Chief Temitope Ajayi, (Mama Diaspora) stated that she would like to partner with the federal government, especially the Ministry of Humanitarian in the area of training, soft loans for small startups.
Chief Ajayi noted that the provision of interest free loans is imperative because the youths are business people who have been trained and know the value of money and what to invest on.
She explained that the the youths were given business academy training, which lasted for three weeks.
According to. her: “Some of these youths were at Lekki, they joined in the #End SARS Protest, because they live in my neighbourhood and you know that idle mind is devil workshop, because the devil can use any body to destroy things, so I have to engage them, train them and provide interest free loans to start their businesses.
Chief Ajayi appealed to President Muhammed Buhari to engage the mothers in findings solutions to the recent End SARS Protest.
“President Buhari is trying his best by inviting everybody, former Presidents, traditional rulers on solution to the protest, except the mothers. The mothers are the only one that can help the President to solve this problems, let’s sit with them, we know how to talk with them. They should invite the mothers,” she said.
She explained further that: “Most of the youths here did not take the programme serious, while some of took it serious, we took them through the programme, they fill the forms, bring guarantors, bring a bank account and their ATMs, because if you want to be a businessman, you have to have a bank account, if you don’t have a bank account, we will not give you this money and it has to be a Zenith Bank account.
“With N20,000, they will make turnovers, keep their profits and return the money and take more goods. The only thing am begging manufactures is to make us distributor so that we can get their goods at a very cheaper price,” she said.
Chief Ajayi is supported in the projects by her partners, Dr. Lilian Ajayi-Ore, founder/ CEO Global Connections for Women Foundation, GC4W, based in the United States.
Dr Ajayi-Ore is also a donor in the in interest free loans scheme for the youths and women and Ms Denise Ajayi Williams, president/CEO Silicon Valley Nigerian Economic Development SV-NED Inc, an official member in Forbes Business Council.in partnership with Miguel Castilla, president SVLINKS in Silicon Valley California, USA who donated the wheel chair, Dr Diana Gray Campbell, president 100 Heart Children Initiative Africa and Mr Sunday Akinmisire, a Nigerian footballer.
The high point of the event was the presentation of a 2020 motorised and rechargeable wheel chair to Mr. Olarenwaju Sanni, a crippled who was trained at the centre’s incubator programme.
While thanking the donors for their kind gesture, Olarenwanju stated that with the wheel chair now, he sees himself doing wonderful things.
In his words: “My dreams have come true. With the Wheel chair, it will be easier for my work of computer repairs, moving around to buy computer accessories from the dealers to carry out repairs at the computer village in Ikeja”.
On ground to witness the presentation were members of the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association, CAPDAN, Computer Village, led by Mr Jerry Mba, the secretary general.
Speaking at the programme also through a phone conversation, United Kingdom based Mr Barry Baruwa, Investment Consultant Masterplan Finance Asset Management and a partner in the project also to Chief Ajayi on the project advised the beneficiaries of the interest free loans to use the money provided for them judiciously, so as to get more and achieve more.
He enjoined the youths,” to give us a conviction that you can do better than what we expect from you. There is a programme coming up in the United States next month, those of you that are computer literate, we are going to take you to the next level, we are going to do things that will change your lives beyond your imagination and take you to the next level”.
In his remarks, Maxwell Olusegun Njarika, director SVNED Inc noted that human capital investment in Nigeria is very low, adding that this has been more of a challenge.
He said that, “when there is no money, we can’t really perform, there is lack of investment in human capital in the country”.
Njarika emphasised the need for the government to introduce incubator programmes different from schools.
According to him: “There are lots of people that have potential, our educational system if you ask me is crappy, look at what China has done, China has used their incubator programme to build their country in the last few years. Most of the children in China do not even go to school, they go to incubator programmes such as this and start learning how to do stuffs, I want to use this opportunity to enjoin the Nigerian government to show interest and start building more incubators for the average Nigerian youths because we have so many potential that just needs to be nurtured in a particular environment”.
He explained that Incubators programmes are facilities that provides atmosphere for startups to work together and turn their dreams into reality as the programme provides them resources to start up business which they have been trained on .