News: Young Nigerian Innovators Receive N756.3m Award From World Bank

Young Nigerian Innovators Receive N756.3m Award From World Bank

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Young Nigerian Innovators Receive  N756.3m Award  From World Bank 

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment(Dr Okechukwu Enelamah) said this in Abuja on Tuesday during the grant award ceremony. Enelamah said the grant was made possible through the Growth and Employment Project (GEM) financed by the World Bank IDA Credit.

The GEM project is an initiative of the Federal Government, World Bank and DFID to increase firms and businesses growth and employment creation in Nigeria.

The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has approved the sum of N756.3 million for disbursement to 81 Nigerian innovators as part of Federal Government’s economic empowerment initiatives.

Enelamah said the innovators were selected following a technological innovation competition organised by the Presidency, called Aso Villa Demo Day (AVDD). According to him, the project targets young Nigerian entrepreneurs with innovative business models who will contribute to the growth of the economy.

“Having awarded grants to the best three innovators that emerged winners from the 2016 AVDD national competition, the presidency engaged GEM to scale up the programme for wider impact,’’ he said. Enelamah said 289 candidates were shortlisted and after the evaluation process, 81 of them met all requirements and were selected as beneficiaries.
He said the beneficiaries were drawn from the six geo-political zones, adding that the grants would be disbursed in two separate tranches after the grant award ceremony. “GEM is about igniting businesses and building their capacity to grow and employ Nigerians. Above all, it helps solve the problem of funding faced by many of our MSMEs,’’ Enelamah said. He said the project was a 160 million dollars World Bank IDA credit with the Project Implementation Unit at the ministry.
Enelamah said the project’s objective was to increase growth and employment in participating firms in Nigeria through provision of technical assistance and grants to qualified existing firms and businesses across Nigeria.

He said the project would operate in five high growth sectors of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Hospitality, Entertainment, Light Manufacturing, and Construction.

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