Ambode Approves Monthly Stipends for RSW Interns

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Funmi Ogundare

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the payment of N30,000 as monthly stipends to ReadySetWork (RSW) interns who have been placed in various organisations for a six-month paid internships, as well as N8 million in seed funding for the top five winners of the RSW business pitch competition, whose businesses will be placed in incubation.

The beneficiaries will commence their internships and incubation on March 1.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, who disclosed this in a statement, said the interns were part of the 2,000 final year students from six tertiary institutions in the state that took part in the 2017 edition of the 13-week intensive entrepreneurship and employability training programme.

He said the programme, which held its pilot in 2016 with 500 final year students from three tertiary institutions in the state, was scaled up in 2017 to 12,000 students from six institutions including Lagos State University (LASU), University of Lagos (UNILAG), Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Lagos State College of Health Technology, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education.

“In 2016, we placed 76 students on internships with partner organisations like PwC, SystemSpecs, Total, GTBank, FCMB and Access Bank, who provided six-month paid internship opportunities for RSW graduates,” he said, adding that the governor has further expanded the scheme by approving funds to place an additional 100 RSW graduates on internship positions with SMEs in Lagos with monthly stipends provided by the government.

“In 2017, we were able to scale up and secure internship slots in about 180 organisations across the state for 1,000 top performing RSW graduates. The placement process involved a series of internship fairs where companies had the opportunity to interview and select their interns from a pool of qualified candidates.”

Bank-Olemoh added that preparation for the 2018 edition has commenced saying, “this year, we are further expanding the programme to train 25,000 students. 5,000 final year students will participate in the 13-week face-to-face classes, while 20,000 students in their penultimate year will take part in the RSW online academy.

The programme is also increasing the number of participating schools to accommodate more students. The new institutions are Yaba College of Technology, Federal College of Education (Technical) and a private institution, Caleb University, as the special adviser noted that the inclusion of new schools is in line with the administration’s commitment to ensuring that every student that graduates from any tertiary institution in state is prepared for the world of work as an employer of labour or a value-adding employee.

He called on professionals from various sectors to join the RSW faculty, the largest volunteer faculty in Nigeria, as facilitators for the 2018 training programme.

“The RSW faculty recruitment has already kicked-off officially on February 22 and the application portal will be accessible on the programme website – www.readysetwork.com.ng.”

Benue Killings: Rochas Foundation Gives Awards 1,000 Scholarships to Displaced Children

The Rochas Foundation has awarded 1,000 scholarships to children in displaced camps in Benue State as a result of the recent clashes in the state.

The Director General of the foundation, Mrs. Uloma Rochas Nwosu announced this in an interview with journalists at the 20th anniversary celebration of the foundation at Heroes Square, Owerri, Imo State recently.

She said the scholarship was part of the agenda of the foundation which is to take off one million African children from the streets by 2030.

The Benue State government recently announced that over 10,000 children are unable to go to school as a result of killings and clashes between herdsmen and farmers forcing thousands to relocate to camps for displaced persons.

“‎As a foundation, we shall be offering free and qualitative education to 1,000 children at the IDP Camp in Benue State. This may not be enough considering that over 10,000 children are estimated to be out of school as a result of the recent clashes in that state,” she said.

The President of the foundation and Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha called on well to do citizens in Africa to establish educational foundations that could help reduce illiteracy in the continent.

He said the call has become necessary in view of increasing illiteracy in Africa. “Those children that have poor background can become somebody if provided opportunity to attend schools.”

He therefore appealed to well to do Africans to join in the campaign to take one million children off the streets by 2030, adding that he is convinced that children of the continent if properly educated are the future of the world.

“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Rochas Foundation, I am using the opportunity to launch ‘Vision 2030’ which is aimed at taking one million African children off the streets by that date. I urge everyone to volunteer. Help train a child in school because I am convinced that these children, if properly trained, are the future of the world.”

Okorocha pointed out that the foundation has come to stay in tackling the problem of the less privileged, not only in Nigeria but in other African countries.

He revealed that since inception of the Rochas Foundation College in Owerri in 2001, admission has increased to more than 16,000 students with more than 4,000 having graduated from the university.

Also speaking, the Director General of the foundation, Mrs. Nwosu said: “‎From the modest first Rochas Foundation College, Owerri in 2001 we have grown into 10 different colleges across the country, we also have the Rochas Foundation College of Africa with five children from 55 African countries.”

The wife of the governor and Vice-President of the foundation, Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha, expressed joy that what started‎ in Jos, Plateau State as a modest contribution to help humanity has grown into a phenomenon.

“When my husband and I decided to set up this foundation we did not know it will grow so fast this way. The children have also learnt well. By the grace of God we shall continue to do good.”

Other speakers at the event were Uchechi Rochas Okorocha, Aham Rochas Okorocha and Amen Rochas Okorocha all of whom extolled the vision of the founder and publicly rededicated commitment to the cause of humanity.

The high point of the event was the handover of a fully furnished apartment, two million naira and a taxi to one Miss Onyemuwa Ihuoma Victoria who won the star prize.

The star prize winner, an orphan from Amuzi, Obowo Local Government of Imo State emerged after the spinning of jackpot supervised by the Ambassadors of Australia, Pakistan, Gambia and Congo.

Six other winners got brand new homes and N100,000, while several others got cash prizes ranging from N300,000 to N100,000 and N50,000 respectively, while the crowd drawn from 27 local government areas of the state and numbering over 12,000 went home with various categories of gift items like sewing machines, grinding machine, bags of rice, cartons of noodles, among others.