President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday pledged assistance to Nigerian youths by developing their skills and business expertise to become entrepreneurs of international ranking.
The President made the pledge after inspecting some products manufactured by the first batch of 1,200 Nigerian youths who benefitted from the “YOU-WIN Programme” introduced by his administration.
Jonathan said he was impressed by the products manufactured by the youths and displayed for inspection by members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) before their weekly meeting.
The President reiterated his administration’s commitment to build a country that the future generation would be proud of.
“The concept of YOUWIN is to build entrepreneurs that will start from the scratch, develop their skills and their business acumen and grow them to the known larger business in the world.
“Some of the big names we are hearing started this way.
“Very few people get into their business in a big way but most times they collapsed because they didn’t know how to grow businesses.
“We are quite impressed by what you have done so far,’’ he said.
The President stressed that the era of `godfatherism’, where some Nigerians secured opened-up opportunities by government, without merit, was over.
“The country should be the godfather of everybody. The government should be the godfather of every Nigerian.
“We will continue to encourage the young people.
“We must build a society where our young people will see a different Nigeria, see a Nigeria that they will believe in, a Nigeria that will also protect them,’’ he said.
The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the team was a small section of the first batch of 1200 YOUWIN beneficiaries.
She disclosed that over 16,000 jobs had been created by the first batch of winners of the programme.
The products displayed range from poultry feeds, coconut cooking oil, cakes from cassava flour, V-Sat Internet connectivity gadgets, dresses and Moringa tea.
The President directed the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, to assist some members of the team, who have the challenge of registering their products with NAFDAC.