James Sowole in Abeokuta
No fewer than 140,000 Nigerians, have benefitted from financial literacy programme being sponsored by the German International Development Agency (GIZ).
The agency also disclosed that it has enhanced entrepreneurship skills for over 30,000 students and created over 5,000 new jobs to support value chains under its Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria Programme, known as (SEDIN).
The Head of Programme, GIZ SEDIN, Mr. Markus Wauschkuhn, disclosed this at a media parley on the second edition of the Students’ Entrepreneurship Activities (SEA-Hub) national competition among secondary schools in Nigeria, scheduled to hold in Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Abuja.
He added that SEA-Hub activities involved students from both private and public secondary schools in the participating states.
According to Wauschkuhn, the SEA-Hub national competition, was a follow-up to the state competitions, that were concluded in five states and from which 15 schools were chosen to represent their states at the second competition holding on October 24, 2022
He explained that SEA-Hub state competitions, were held in Plateau, Lagos, Edo, Ogun and Niger States in June 2022.
According to him, students during the state competitions, showcased various innovative products and services that they started with little or no capital, which is one of the key mandates of SEA-Hub.
The head of programme, said the 15 participating schools were chosen after they had exhibited and presented their business ideas at their respective state levels.
While stating that the SEA-Hub was already having positive impact on the communities where schools were located, Wauschkuhn said the project was to be the only existing co-curricular activity in majority of the participating schools in most cases.
Wauschkuhn said: “SEA-Hub activities has led to the revival of co-curricular slots within the schools.
“Aside running mini businesses, SEA-Hub students now implement community projects from their business proceeds as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects while about 700 teachers have been impacted directly and indirectly with a number of them running their own businesses as a result.”
He noted that the main objective of the SEA-Hub programme was aimed at reducing the unemployment in the country by equipping secondary school students with the right skills which will prepare them for a secured future.
He said, “For young people, it is difficult to find full and productive employment and decent work.
“To harness and turn the growing youth unemployed population in the country into an asset, we need an urgent focus on economic activities that can thrive and yield demographic dividends for the nation.
“SEA-Hub was therefore borne out of the need to improve skills and prepare young people for a secure future.
“By catching them young, the SEA-Hub project is equipping secondary school students with entrepreneurship training in a way that develops their skills to be agile, sustainable and transferable in ever-changing environments and situations.”
Speaking at the media parley, the Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Government on Education, Ms. Adeola Salau, said the state was in partnership with GIZ-SEDIN to create student entrepreneurs in the state
Salau said student entrepreneurs under the project were regarded as managers of their small businesses within the schools in three local government areas of the state – Alimosho, Agege and Ifako-Ijaiye.
According to her, “we created these entrepreneurship clubs in 24 schools, both in junior and senior secondary schools and there were a lot of training programmes for both the teachers and the students.
“The main focus of this programme is to make sure that our students are able to fish for themselves.
“It is one thing to constantly keep on waiting for people to give you what you need, but another thing to be able to go and get what you need yourself and say you know what, I am a self-providing human being.”
She also said plans were underway to scale the project to four other LGAs as the platform would afford students to be creative and visionary.
“I am looking at our students becoming more creative, critical thinkers and becoming people who will be innovative and look at the challenges and say, instead of me complaining and waiting for government, let me start solving these things myself,” she added
Salau commended GIZ-SEDIN and urged more corporates to replicate such initiatives around education in the state.