A non-governmental organization, Ogoni Liberation Initiative, has launched a N10billion investment fund to help start-up businesses in Ogoniland and other parts of Niger Delta.
Speaking at the launch in Lagos today, the President of the group, Fabeke Douglas, said the organization is geared towards a better living for every Ogoni indigene and to reposition the Niger Delta in a better light for the world to see, by creating entrepreneurship forums where youths can share information freely and receive financial aid when needed.
He said the initiative is to shift the focus of Ogoni youths away from the belief that they can only be enriched through the oil wells, thus leading to agitations and arm struggle for oil sake.
“We are opening the eyes of our people to other opportunities that can be explored outside oil and gas, and this is why the N10 billion investment fund is being launched through the support of our partners, to help and encourage entrepreneurship in Ogoniland.
“There are a lot of opportunities in Ogoniland and we as a group are ready to give the needed support to the youths to grow their businesses and to guide them through the possible challenges they might encounter,” he said.
He added that the group is really doing much regarding job creation as they are partnering with companies and banks for funding.
He called on the Ogboni people to embrace peace as well as cooperate with the initiative to push for a better Ogoniland, a save and healthy environment for the Ogoni people with the much-needed infrastructural developments.
Also delivering a speech titled: “Entrepreneurship: an Antidote to Economic Crisis, an entrepreneurship expert, Seye Shoneye, said the youths should be encouraged to venture into entrepreneurship programmes.
He said entrepreneurship is a potent antidote which is mostly overlooked in most economies but very effective and useful if Nigeria wants to be liberated from the current economic malady.
Also speaking, the Product Manager at Polaris Bank, Obiora Ezike, noted that the bank is doing everything possible to support SMEs and help them to thrive in the Nigerian economy by playing an advisory role to entrepreneurs through series of capacity building programmes that the bank organises, and also provide them with financial aid that might be needed through loans.
He said the bank is positioned to help start-up businesses have access to funds and other facilities that are needed to grow their businesses. He also pledged the bank’s support for the Ogoni Liberation Initiative’s investment drive for entrepreneurs in Niger Delta.
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