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AEMAinspire University Tour: Temofe Empowers UNIABUJA Students With Grant

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FOUNDER of the African Economic Merit Awards (AEMA), McEvaTemofe has urged Nigerian students to embrace entrepreneurship, as against waiting for white-collar jobs that are difficult to come by these days. He stated this at the second edition of the AEMAinspire University Tour held recently at the University of Abuja.

Held under the theme, Safeguarding The Nigerian Economy Through Entrepreneurs, the initiative aims at inspiring African students to become entrepreneurs, employers of labour and business executives.

In his welcome address, Temofe described the event as an important part of making sure that students and youths across Africa are informed, engaged and enthusiastic in building an alternative career.
“I am excited to share my wealth of ideas, journey and knowledge with you all. This seminar is to guide and lead you in becoming not just a brilliant entrepreneur, but to give you a career direction and impact your lives positively so that you can live a better career driven life and less life errors. In pursuit of building a fine career, I will like you to hang this deep down your hearts. Oprah Winfrey once said, ‘surround yourself with people who are going to fill your cup until your cup runneth over.”

While urging the participants to always be mindful of time in making career decisions, Temofe said, “your assignment on earth is tied to time; you must get it right on time or you miss it forever. Our mission on earth is tied to a place. Recognising and taking advantage of the moment plays a key role in our lives towards establishing the crown of your glory.”

    He continued: “An entrepreneur is someone who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit and learning to serve to be served. In this journey, there are lots of ups and downs. Listening to entrepreneurship lecture doesn’t mean you should start your own business; it is to help you build a leadership path to succeed wherever you find yourself,” he said.
    Temofe informed that his career as an entrepreneur has always shaped how he experiences the world, adding that entrepreneurs such as Tyler Perry, Tony Elumelu, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Strive Masiyiwa, the late Chris Kirubi and others influenced his entrepreneurial journey.

   “Researching and reading about people with proven results, whose lives were very different from mine showed me how to step into someone else’s shoes. And the simple act of giving helped me develop my own identity. To everyone under the sound of my voice, watching online, this is the time for you to join this train of revamping the African economy. It is time to give all your support to this great initiative. It is time to raise leaders of value and drastically reduce unemployment. We look forward to seeing other African students in their schools and empower more people.”

In her remarks, representative of the Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Prof. Aisha Maikudi, thanked AEAMA for bringing the event to UNIABUJA, urging the students to take advantage of the opportunity and develop entrepreneurial spirit.

“So, if you have a passion, if you have something that you belie in, then we want to encourage you to do that. That’s why we entered into such partnerships and we have such lovely organisations like the AEMA to give you this grant.

The one-day event featured pep talk by experts, including Buffy Okeke-Ojiudu, CEO of Zebra Group and Japhet Omojuwa, Founder Alpha Reach, who shared their entrepreneurial experiences with the students.

“Most times, university students think that after university, then their life will start. But I want to break the news to you; your lives have already started,” Omojuwa said.

Meanwhile, three students of the university Jubril Abdul-Fatah, Onyekachi Ogbonna and Mustapha Abdulsalamad emerged winners of the AEMA Entrepreneurship Grant worth N2,000,000. The winners were selected from hundreds of applicants who registered on AEMA platform.

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Finance

UNGA: Tony Elumelu receives commendation from Tinubu for providing substantial $100m backing to SMEs and startups

… Challenges Africans to Look Inwards Instead of Reliance on Int’l Donor Funds

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President Bola Tinubu has commended Tony Elumelu for the impact his foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has had on young people and SMEs in the country and beyond since 2010.


He also challenged Africans, including its political and business leaders, to look inwards instead of undue reliance on international donor funds.

He made the call at the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Generation Unlimited (GENU) Breakfast Roundtable meeting, a side event at the ongoing 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, yesterday.


The event also served as a forum for the launch of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Impact Report titled “The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship
Programme: A Decade of Impact.”

The president, who was represented by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Doris Uzoka-Anite, also stressed on the need for local solutions to economic growth and unemployment, while offering incentives to willing investors

The President who was represented by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Doris Uzoka-Anite, decried the over reliance by Africans on foreign donors, calling for an end to that mindset.

He said: “I don’t think we are doing enough as Africans for Africa. We need to do a lot more. Tony Elumelu has been the major person driving investments in supporting the youths and start-ups.


“We need to challenge ourselves a bit more further. Africa has some of the richest people on the planet. We have a resource-rich continent with huge population of young people.

“We need to take up the challenge upon ourselves as Africans to support one another. It is about time we stopped looking for international organisations for donor funding. We need to go out of that mentality.

“We will rather have donor funds coming in to support what we have on ground already and not then coming to give us a seed or showing us the way. We actually know how to do things. In Africa, we have a rich culture and if we go back to our tradition, there is a whole lot we can learn from each other.”

On the importance of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), he said they were the engines of Nigerian and African economic growth, adding that they contributed almost half of national GDP, and more than 80 percent of employment.

While wooing potential investors with promises of right infrastructure provision such as regulations, property rights, access to justice, protection from unfair competition, power, as well as roads to market and ports, he said: “We must organise the disorganised SME market, and enable greater organisation and formalisation.


“We must invest in SMEs. Governments and the private sector have important roles to play in this regard. Our investing must be coordinated, targeted, and generous. This is where the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a worthy role model for all.

“We must create and expand pathways for our SMEs to export their products and services and integrate into global value chains.”




In his speech, Founder TEF, Tony
Elumelu said this highlights the significant contribution of the TEF’s flagship 100 million dollars Entrepreneurship Programme in advancing Africa’s socio-economic development.

He noted that 13 years ago, the foundation took a bold step to rewrite and change Africa by enhancing entrepreneurship development to galvanise African solutions.

Stressing on the seed capital, training and mentoring and networking provided by TEF, he added “we have lit a beacon, and we need the beacon to shine brighter and better. To do this, we need the support and collaboration of everyone.

“100 million dollars is a drop of water in the ocean compared to what we need in Africa. Young Africans need economic support. We’ve seen the devastating effect of climate change, how our young ones due to hopelessness are migrating and living in difficult situations. We want to put a stop to that.”

To achieve that, Elumelu called for collaboration to prioritise young Africans, bring more women to economic activities and alleviate poverty, adding that “poverty anywhere is a threat to all of us everywhere”.


Sharing the Lagos experience at the gathering, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that TEF’s work aligns with Lagos State programmes on economic empowerment and poverty reduction.

Sanwo-Olu said that collaborative efforts must be evolved to enhance the scale of impact to deepen inclusion, equity and fairness.


Also speaking, Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa (UNDP) said they partnered TEF due to similar belief in galvanising development across Africa and globally, adding that Africa’s wealth was its population, which constitutes 70 per cent of young, vibrant and innovative Africans.

“It is our loss if we don’t invest in them because that is the future of prosperity,” she said, just as she called for enhanced collaboration and investment to strengthen economic development of African youths.


Earlier on, TEF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Somachi Chris-Asoluka, said the organisation is the partner of choice for all development agencies across the world who want to transform the way they give to Africa, who want to have a more catalytic, impactful partnership with the African continent.

She said: “The Tony Elumelu foundation is a leading philanthropy in Africa empowering young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries.

“We launched our flagship program, the Tony Elumelu foundation Entrepreneurship programme in 2015 with a $100 million commitment by Mr Elumelu and his family.

“His goal was to see 10,000 African entrepreneurs over 10 years, in only eight years, we have more than surpassed that target so date.

“We have funded 18,000 entrepreneurs, disbursing over a 100 million dollars directly as seed capital to these entrepreneurs and they have gone on to create over 400 thousand jobs across all African countries.”

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Grants

ASR Africa, BUA Foundation Approve N1.5billion Grant For Development Projects In Ibese, Igbobila, Ilaro, Others In Yewa Land, Ogun State

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The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa) – the brainchild of Industrialist, philanthropist, and founder of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, and the BUA Foundation have awarded development grants worth N1.5 billion to Yewa Land in Ogun State comprising Ilaro, Igbogila, Ibeshe, Egua, and Igonade communities for key community, social, and infrastructural development projects. This was announced at the grant presentation and mutual accountability framework signing ceremonies held today in Ilaro, Ibese, and Igbogila. The grants will be channeled towards interventions in the areas of health, education, or social development initiatives that are identified for implementation.

Presenting the grants award letter to Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland in Ogun State, Ubon Udoh, Managing Director, ASR Africa assured of more partnership with the people of Yewaland and reiterated that the vision of Abdul Samad Rabiu, Founder of ASR Africa and Chairman of BUA, is to provide concrete solutions for sustainable development in Nigeria, and Africa. According to Ubon, “What ASR Africa and BUA Foundation are doing here today, is planting a seed of sustainable problem-solving across Africa in line with the vision of Abdul Samad Rabiu, our founder – and Chairman of BUA.

Cheque issued by ASR



“The first grant of N1 billion goes to all communities in Yewaland for developmental purposes to uplift the quality of life of the Yewa people, while ASR Africa and BUA Foundation are also giving additional specific grants of N250million each to Igbogila and Ibese Communities for already identified infrastructure projects to enhance community development through their traditional institutions. We have done our basic needs assessment in collaboration with the communities on their needs, and we are pleased to say we look forward to the commencement of the identified projects and a more robust partnership with Yewaland, as we have done in other parts of the country.

In his response, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland commended Abdul Samad Rabiu for his philanthropic gestures across the country and noted that indeed he is a true Nigerian. The monarch added that with the grants, Yewaland and Yewa people will witness rapid social and infrastructural development. “We are one of the largest sub-ethnic groups in Yoruba Land and these grants will go a long way in bringing sustainable development in line with the United Nations SDGs, to our people”, he added.

The Paramount Ruler of Ibese community, HRM Oba Rotimi Mulero, The Oboro of Ibese, also thanked the donors for their timely intervention in developing Ibese community. “May the Almighty bless Abdul Samad Rabiu, ASR Africa, and BUA Foundation for partnering with us to fast-track development in our community because we are still largely behind on the development curve. This partnership with ASR Africa and BUA Foundation will go a long way in ensuring even greater development for our people.”

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Grants

Abdul Samad Rabiu’s ASR Africa Supports 22 Universities And tertiary institutions with 5.5bil Infrastructure Devpt Grant

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BUA Chairman – Abdul Samad Rabiu

BUA Chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu has again come to the aid of Nigerian educational system with a 5.5Billion NAIRA grant for infrastructural development to 22 Universities and other tertiary institutions. The grant is coming under the ASR Tertiary Education Grants Scheme.


The new recipients will bring to 30 the number of Nigerian higher institutions that have benefited from the scheme. Before the new set, eight Universities in Nigeria had benefited from the Scheme, receiving billions of Naira in grants with some of their targeted projects nearing completion.



Speaking on the grants, Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman ASR Africa and BUA Group revealed that, ‘At ASR AFRICA, we believe in Africa’s capacity to leapfrog the development divide through the SDGs. Good quality investments in education is one of the ways through which we can achieve that. This is why education remains one of the three focal areas of ASR Africa’s intervention in Nigeria, and Africa, and our investments in infrastructure for tertiary institutions are showing good promise’.



The Managing Director of ASR Africa, Ubon Udoh, while speaking on the selected institutions revealed that the 22 picked for 5.5billion NAIRA grant were chosen across Nigeria based on certain criteria. He also promised that ‘the next phase under our grants framework would be project selection and development of mutual accountability framework with respective Universities and this phase is expected to commence in coming weeks.’



The beneficiary institutions, which were picked from both private and public-owned institutions include Bayero University, Kano, Adamawa State University, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Nigerian Law School, Lagos, University of Uyo, University of Lagos, University of Jos, Federal College of Education, Technology, Gusau, Federal University, LOKOJA, Nasarawa State University, University of Port Harcourt, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Uthman Dan Fodio University, Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Crescent University, Babcock University, Al Qalam University, Baze University, Nigerian Defence Academy, Federal University, Gashua, and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.
ASR Africa has been at the vanguard of supporting educational, health and social development sectors in the continent since its inception. It is the brainchild of Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman of BUA Group of companies, Nigeria’s foremost billionaire industrialist.

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