Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has lauded International Breweries Foundation, the social investment vehicle of International Breweries Plc, for awarding grants of over N73 million to 90 deserving young entrepreneurs through its Kickstart initiative.
The landmark award ceremony took place on Thursday, 28 November 2019, at the Edmark Centre in Lagos.
The vice president, who was represented by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, said the Kickstart initiative is a very commendable one that can be replicated by other private sector players to augment government’s empowerment programmes to help reduce unemployment and empower Nigerians economically.
According to the vice president, government can take key learnings from the way Kickstart is structured, which ensures integrity of the programme.
Delivering his address at the event, Professor Osinbajo said, “The very thorough process by which Kickstart selects its heroes, beneficiaries, the training, the bootcamp, and mentorship are all very commendable and it is something we as government can learn from when we open it up to genuine beneficiaries”
Kickstart was conceptualised to empower young Nigerians, 18-35 years, and help reduce unemployment while promoting decent work and economic growth in line with Goal 8 of the UNSDGs.
It is an innovative youth entrepreneurship programme that empowers young people with finance, capacity building and mentorship to enable them implement diverse entrepreneurial ventures in Agriculture, Recycling, Climate Actions, Education, ICT, Crafts and Manufacturing among others.
In his speech, Chairman of the Advisory Board of International Breweries Foundation, Mr Peter Bamkole, said, “Indeed, we envision the initiative as the nursery of innovation in business, where we plant, nurture and transfer by way of training, granting and mentoring. We are optimistic that every successful beneficiary will pull others out of unemployment because every job they create will take about three other people out of the job market.”
Bamkole said the 2019 Kickstart, which was pan-Nigeria, has revealed the hunger for a national programme as applications were received from all 36 states and the FCT. He added that the acceptance “has reinforced our belief in the potential of Kickstart to impact and influence the youth population in the country.”
In his presentation, entitled Harnessing the Potential of the Youth for National Development through Innovation, Employability and Social Investment, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, while commending International Breweries for such an impactful initiative as Kickstart, noted that indeed the nation must begin to invest in its youth in the areas of education, skills acquisition, vocational training, as well as encouraging science and technology if the country must achieve sustainable growth and development.
Moghalu further recommended that “we can replicate the Kickstart programme on a very large basis, we can work with the private sector in doing that”.
The beneficiaries were effusive in their praise of the Kickstart initiative. They particularly commended the integrity of the programme in picking candidates based on merit, the impactful training in the bootcamp, the one-year mentorship, and most importantly the grant. According to a beneficiary Aishatu Adekoya, who is into snail farming, “My Kickstart journey has been amazing and interesting.
The training was intense and the coaches were amazing. I want to assure that I will use this grant to grow my business. I say a big thank you to Kickstart and thank you to International Breweries Foundation.”
According to IB Plc, Kickstart started with the application phase in June 2019 and progressed to the bootcamp phase where 227 entrepreneurs were trained on the key aspects of business management. A total of 167 made it to the Pitch Fest, the penultimate phase of the project wherein the entrepreneurs defended their business plans to an independent panel of judges.
The final 90 awardees had their businesses awarded the grants because they met the set criteria, including: business maturity, experience of the applicant to run the business, financial statement of the business and overall business concept.
The event witnessed the launch of the Kickstart alumni group, a platform where beneficiaries from the 2016 set can exchange ideas and information on business trends and developments as well as cross sell among themselves.
Kickstart 2019 edition is the fourth in the series and brings the total number of direct beneficiaries to 708; 1,416 indirect beneficiaries’ while the total amount of grants so far awarded to beneficiaries since 2016 is N325,136m.
The company revealed that while the total grants given out during the awards is N73, 836,000, in reality, it is spending over N150, 000,000 if it includes the cost of training, mentoring and the Trophy Academy which it plans to build in its Gateway brewery.
This will be a training school for skills acquisition for young Nigerians in the different fields of entrepreneurship. IBPLC also said the kickstart initiative has generated 571 jobs while total jobs generated are expected to increase to 1,392 by 2021.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
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