The Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing the Lagos East Senatorial District, Sen. Adetokunbo Abiru, FCA, has said that he’s contributing to the educational, youth and business developments in his district through his foundation: Tokunbo Abiru Constituency Team (TACT).
Abiru, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Industries, added that his foundation is addressing challenges facing small businesses and dearth of education while also building capacity of the youths through his ‘Tokunbo Abiru Campaign Team’ (TACT) initiatives.
This was contained in the address of the Senator while briefing journalists across the country on his activities since his inauguration, on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at his Ikorodu Constituency office.
“Education and Youth development being part of the cardinal areas in our constituency services, through my Foundation, TACT (Tokunbo Abiru Constituency Team). In October 2021, six hundred (600) brilliant but indigent students benefited from bursary awards from the endowment instituted by my team”, Sen.Abiru said.
“In a deliberate move at spreading prosperity across the Lagos East Senatorial District, my office, in partnership with The Fate Foundation and Chartered Standard Foundation, organized a Business Workshop/Clinic for 1000 MSMEs across the Senatorial district.
According to him, the training, which attracted Executive Leadership of business-related regulatory agencies and partners like; BOI, SMEDAN, CAC, LIRS, NAFDAC and LSETF greatly enhanced the capacity of MSMEs in the district.
While explaining his plans for assisting small business owners further, Sen. Abiru said that he also provided participants at the workshop with literature on business principles to give them knowledge about businesses.
“In addressing the dearth of knowledge which is one of the major reasons why MSMEs fail, a knowledge pack containing seven valuable books covering areas like; Financial Management, Human Capital, Legal, Strategy, Marketing and Communication, Digital Technology and Tax Management authored by reputable corporations including Deloitte, KPMG, Verraki among others, were given free of charge to all trainees”, he said.
“Participants also received Enterprise Development Certificates after the training”.
He revealed that TACT will be making available N300 Million revolving loan in April for small business owners, adding that the loan will be accessed through the Lagos State Employment Fund (LSETF).
“I went further to announce a N100 Million (One Hundred Million Naira) Constituency Intervention Revolving Loan at a very low concessional 6% interest rate per annum, which will be topped by additional N100 Million from the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund(LSETF) has also graciously pledged to add N100 Million totaling N300Million”, he said.
“The N300Million Constituency Intervention Revolving Loan Scheme will be unveiled next month (April) for the benefit of MSMEs, Artisans and tradesmen in Lagos East”.
As part of his youth and educational development efforts, Abiru said that he has set up a technological space in partnership with technology a company to build capacities and make youths in his district employable and at the same, be entrepreneurs.
Abiru said that the innovative center, which is currently located within his constituency office in Ikorodu, will be moving to its permanent space in July.
“In the same manner, I have set up a Community Innovation Space known as Senator Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL), in partnership with a renowned technology and Social Enterprise company, The Co-creation Hub (Cc-HUB), in Lagos to train youths in the senatorial district on relevant digital and innovation skills, and build the best entrepreneurs that can compete in the ever-dynamic global economy”, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Industries, said.
“The Center is currently situated in Ikorodu within our district, starting from the constituency office but planning to move into a bigger facility by July 2022. Five (5) pilot programmes have been put together with a view to proffer solutions to some of the challenges identified and many of our youths have started applying for opportunities to participate in the programmes”.
The Senator, who said that the programme has the capacity to accommodate about 150 students at a time for a six – month training, revealed that over 4000 youths have applied so far.
“Over Four Thousand (4,000) young people across the Lagos East Senatorial District applied for the SAIL programmes. Currently, over One Hundred Fifty (150) students are participating in the Five (5) Pilot Programmes at the SAIL Centre in Ikorodu while over One Thousand (1000) eligible applicants will be trained online”.
He provided details on the courses that admitted youths into the SAIL program will be undertaken.
“Lagos East Teachers’ Fellowship, is a programme aimed at equipping Educators with new skills that would lead to better learning outcomes. It is for Teachers who are interested in inquiry-based learning, and want to use technology in their classrooms to the benefit of their students.
“Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education for Senior Secondary School Students, is a programme designed to introduce students between the ages of 13-18 years to the concept of physical computing.
In addition, “Business 101 for Artisans and Creatives, which is a programme designed for creative startups in the fashion, crafts, or design sector, is aimed at upscaling the approach to business in a fast-evolving world. This training will help beneficiaries’ to grasp better understanding on how to use technology to improve their businesses.
“Tech Talent Development is aimed at identifying young people who are interested in a career in technology. Selected candidates will be taken through a learning plan that will transform them from complete novice to entry level software engineers in 6 months. At the end of the training programme, they will be fully qualified for an entry level job or internship”.
“Startup Accelerator for Businesses is for young people who have business ideas that can be amplified by technology. The aim is to accelerate their growth with hands-on business support. For those who have a prototype, we will help them with product-market fit as well as build their capacity to be able to attract funding and support for their business. For those who don’t have a prototype yet, we will support them to develop their ideas for the testing phase”, Abiru said.
“These programmes shall run for between 3 – 6 months and more applicants shall be admitted in the subsequent classes after this pilot phase”.