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‘Our Youths Can Produce All We Need’, Ooni Boasts As Monarch Unveils The Gifted Project

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The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Thursday boasted that Nigerian youths have what it takes to produce all goods and services needed in the country.

Ooni Ogunwusi expressed this at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ile-Ife, during the official launching of The Gifted Project, an initiative of Engage Diaspora Foundation, targeted at empowering gifted youths across the country.

The Ooni who is the Co-Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, explained that the youth entrepreneurs have displayed high level of ability and capabilities to should the responsibility of technological inventions and innovations.

“All we need to do is to patronize and motivate these people to be able to take the good works to a greater height. I personally, I am a fan of materials and items made locally and that’s what I want all to imbibe towards the growth of our economy.” Ooni Ogunwusi noted as he inspected the products displayed by the exceptional youths.

Top of the event was when the Ooni bought almost all of the goods and services displayed by the entrepreneurs in areas of Science, Technology, Arts & Design, Agriculture and entrepreneurship, adding that he would continue to support their growth.

Earlier in her address, President of Engage Diaspora Foundation, Hajia Opeyemi Aisha Oni, explained that the initiative is structured to support 1,200 local entrepreneurs annually, promote locally produced technologies, facilitate diaspora investment in MSMEs, reduce unemployment through commercialization of viable projects, link entrepreneurs with local and international funding opportunities and provide Covid-19 relief to Nigerians via job creation.

Haija Opeyemi stressed that the participants would enjoy three (3)years of factory space at the nearest Technology Incubation Centre (TIC), subsidized accommodation near the TIC, accelerated patenting rights through NOTAP, access to MSMEs one-stop shop nationwide and access to local and international funding.

“I want to thank the Ooni for his continuous support since the start of this great work. Equally, I commend the Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti for his goodness while I appreciate all our investors and partners for their collaboration.” Hajia Opeyemi noted.

In her goodwill message, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria In Diaspora Commission, Hon. (Mrs) Abike Dabiri-Erewa commended the Ooni, noting that the initiative will be fully supported by the government.

“We have concluded plans to host the brain behind the programme and all participants to see how to get the best out of our youth entrepreneurs. Our doors are always open and I want to assure you that the future is bright.” Hon. Dabiri-Erewa who took part virtually explained.

The Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti, Oba Joseph Adebayo, President of Oodua Chambers of Commerce, Chief Kola Akosile and the Director-General of the Nigeria Board for Technical Incubation (NBTI) who was represented by Mr. Olufemi Olugbenga, were part of the dignitaries at the event.

In the same vein, investors and other stakeholders including the Vice President of the Chase Bank (US), Mr. Andrew Adeniyi, were part of virtual participants who took part from their respective base across the world.

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