Charles Onyekamuo in Awka

The Anambra state government has given kudos to Onitsha-based Intafact Beverages Limited, a subsidiary of SABMiller, one of the world’s largest brewers for instituting the SABMillier Hero’s foundation programme, aimed at instilling the culture of entrepreneurship among the youth in the South-East zone of the country.

The SAB Miller Hero’s foundation programme, which was launched in Anambra commercial centre, Onitsha is Intafact Beverages Limited corporate social investment initiative (CSII), to encourage the youth in the zone between the eyes of 18 and 35 to develop their big ideas into sustainable businesses or expand their existing businesses through the provision of material and financial support.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, the state’s Commissioner for Youth Entrepreneurship and Sports Development, Mr. Tony Nnachetta said the state government was ready to partner Intafact Beverages in realising the objective of the initiative.

“If you want to know the future of a nation, you take a look at what its youth are doing” he said, adding that Anambra state government is a willing partner in the programme and will contribute time and anything required to make it succeed.

The chairman, Board of Trustees of SABMiller Hero’s foundation, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe noted that the kick start programme offers strong prospects for new ideas and job creation in Nigeria investment platforms in view of the country’s dwindling fortunes from oil.

He said the fact that local youth with bright ideas will have an opportunity to turn their ideas into reality and will in turn help reduce unemployment by engaging them meaningfully through the entrepreneurship development programme.

He added that by encouraging and promoting business skills, mentorship and provision of business grants as start-up capital or expansion seed funding shows SAB Miller’s commitment to bringing fresh ideas and social upward mobility to millions of people all over the world who enjoy its drinks and beverages, adding that the company does business in a way that strives to improve livelihoods of local communities in which it operates.

“We know that many of the communities where we work face serious challenges in their environments and societies, which we share with them.”

“We know that when local communities prosper, so do we. The SABMiller Hero’s foundation Kick start programme is Intafact beverages Corporate Social Initiative (CSI), and part of its ongoing commitment towards poverty alleviation and sustainable enterprise development in its areas of operation” he said.

500 Companies to Participate in South-South Trade Fair

The first South-South international fair being organised by the Forum of South-South Chamber of Industry, Mines and Agriculture (FOSSCCIMA) has attracted the interest of over 500 companies as prospective participants across the country and West African sub-region.

The International Trade Fair slated for April 10-30, 2016 at Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt, Rivers State will attract businesses across all sectors of the economy according to the organisers.

The President of FOSSCCIMA, Billy Harry during a press conference in Port Harcourt, said the association will strive to create strategic partnership with the government in order to attract investment and growth in the region’s economy.

He noted that the fair would create opportunities for unemployed youths to be engaged, stressing that the organisation’s focus is to reduce youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region.

According to Harry, FOSSCCIMA will strive to create strategic partnership, sound coordination and cooperation with both the federal and state governments in the region. This, he said, will help to attract investment, encourage more companies to make investment in the region, engage youths and provide platform for continued dialogue towards reduction of youth restiveness.

He said: “We believe that the chains of poverty, environmental degradation, neglect, economic abuse, injustice and absence of visible economic investment in the South-South needs to be severed and not just symbolically but radically through investment in infrastructure, improved youth empowerment and engagement, sustained growth of SMEs and new opportunities.

At the trade fair, he noted that a project termed RUMSSY (Registration of Unemployed South-South Youths) would be launched and it is going to run throughout the three weeks duration of the Trade fair.

The project, he added would provide an avenue where unemployed skilled and unskilled youths in the south-south region will be registered.

Commenting on this, the President explained that the registration of all the unemployed south-south youths ( RUMSSY) is one of the most critical and significant socio- economic change requirements in our region. “What we need in the entire country today is youth empowerment, youth engagement and youth unemployment. This is reported to be as high as 35per cent especially among the 18-24 year range.”

Also, the Chairman, Marketing, Media and Publicity Committee of FOSSCIMA, Mr. Lucky Akhiwu said that multi-sectoral trade fair would provide an ideal and perfect business matchmaking platform for all kinds of businesses opportunities and connections.

He further explained that despite growing concerns about the rapid decline in our foreign exchange earnings occasioned by the global fall in oil prices and its multiplier effects on economic development in the South-South region in particular and the country in general, we have received a high level of interest from the business community towards the forthcoming Trade fair is surprising but encouraging too.