Sterling Bank Plc has unveiled champions in the recently concluded iCreate Skills Festival. About 10 of the winners would be representing Nigeria in Russia in 2019.
The winners were Otareh Alvin who won in the cooking category, Nejo Tolulope (graphics), Silas Adedoyin (web design), Patrick Obafemi (app development), Barnabas Kudi (robotics), Afolabi Caleb Kayode (art), Ms. Malissa Onojo (tailoring), Yusuf Abdullahi (barbing), Kingsley Ihejirika (hair dressing), Ms. Faiza Usman Adamu (make up), Joshua Olalekan (carpentry), Oladoja Peter (tilling), Kumshuan Talgang (plumbing) and Prince Isitua (bricklaying).
The bank had partnered with iCreate Skill Fest 2018 to host the premier youth empowerment festival in Abuja with the aim of transforming skill acquisition across the continent.
A statement quoted the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Mr. Suleiman Abubakar, to have explained that following the huge success of the premier edition the bank has decided to sponsor the second edition, adding that the financial institution would also extend credit facilities to the winners of the first edition and that such loans will be fast track within two weeks.
He said, “Bright Jaja, the CEO and Founder of iCreate Skills Festival gives him hope for the future of this country,” adding that, “there is an on-going conversation about which generation of Nigerians will salvage this country. I have started to worry if my generation will be able to do it, which is debatable, it may or may not. But it is clear to me that your generation will do it.”
“I have no doubt in my mind and I only need to meet one young man (Bright) and the belief he has in the future of the country and the energy he brought to it as well as the sacrifices he has made. I have watched the project over the last couple of months and I have started to see some of the winners come out and every single one of you have convinced me completely that generation that will salvage Nigeria is here,” Abubakar said.
The CEO who also commended the winners, remarked that, “I don’t think we prepared you for this and I don’t think we gave you a ladder to climb up.”
He noted that whether it is the work some of the youths had done in entertainment or the work that they are doing now in the technology space or the work they had done in their various areas of specialization, not just earning a living but actually bringing in respect to the various skills they have because at the end of the day, it is lack of respect that make certain people to avoid certain skills and at the end of the day, the country is stuck with it.
Abubakar said the future of the country is in jobs and there was need to do all that is necessary to create jobs in various sectors of the economy.
Also speaking, Mr. Bright Jaja, the Founder of iCreate Africa, said iCreate is one of the most difficult things he has ever put himself into. “For me it is like setting up a goal bigger than myself and growing into it, adding that the experience has made him a better person during and after the festival.