Youth innovators across the North who emerged as winners at a conference and exhibition held in Kano have been rewarded with cash prizes for their sterling ideas and inventions.
Announcing the winners at the end of a one-day conference organized by the Kano chapter of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in collaboration with Dangote Business School and Media Trust, the Chairman of the Kano State chapter of ACF, Dr Goni Umar, said the victors emerged after careful scrutiny of the innovation, creativity and novelty of products.
He explained that the conference was organized to harness the productive and innovative capacities of Northern youths for wealth creation.
According to him, the aim of the conference was to ginger youths toward entrepreneurship development and draw support from leaders and investors to invest in their innovative ideas.
“The essence of this conference and exhibition is to ginger our youths in the North so that they can be more productive. Experts are going to discuss how our youths can be more productive.
Secondly, the exhibitors normally when they exhibit their talents that is the end of it and nobody tries to assist them in developing the ideas in a factory for instance. So this conference aims to show our leaders how they can support the youths,” he said.
He urged the youths to be deliberate in learning and delay gratification while building business entities.
The state chairman told the youths to focus on learning and not spend their money on luxury while trying to build a business, stressing that they should learn to delay gratification and keep on learning new innovations to build on.
The chairman also stated that ACF is determined to contribute to addressing issues of poverty, economic deprivation and social exclusion that usually bred the insecurity bedevilling the North.
He said the programmes will empower the youths to be more productive in their lives, adding that youths must be employed or actively engaged in productive means, stressing that unemployment encouraged problems like the banditry currently afflicting the North.
The chairman also highlighted the need to have community police, as each community needs to defend itself and the government should approve of it.
During the event, experts from various walks of life observed that the North must address issues of unemployment and abject poverty through youth empowerment, innovation and improving their productive capacity.
In his remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Dr Ibrahim Ida, Wazirin Katsina, commended the organisers of the conference, noting that the North can explore the approach to address abject poverty and create job opportunities as well as other societal vices.
Dr Ida decried that a large chunk of the poverty in Nigeria is said to be domiciled in the Northern region.
He lamented that “foreign direct investment in Northern Nigeria between 2019 and 2021 amounted to less than 100 million dollars while in the South the amount is put at 32 billion dollars.”
In his contribution at the conference, Wazirin Dutse, Alh. Bashir Dalhatu, challenged the ACF to raise the bar by walking the talk with practical actions, stressing that it should not be business as usual.
He decried that poverty is more prevalent in the North and people must get up to the challenge by doing what is expected of them individually and collectively for the solution.
“So many exhibitions have been held in the North but nothing came out of them. We should ensure that this one should be different,” he urged.
He appealed to the government and individuals to invest in the products and ideas that the youths exhibited, calling on the northern political leaders, especially governors, to learn from their southern counterparts.
In their separate remarks, the emirs of Kano and Bichi, Alh, Aminu Ado Bayero and Alh. Nasiru Ado Bayero submitted that for the North to reclaim its glory and overcome multiple challenges, youths must be supported to realize their potential.
The conference was subtheme into two sessions where Alh. Tajuddeen Dantata chaired the first session on “The North in a Dynamic World: Creating New Generation of Productive and Innovative Youths”, while Alh. Adamu Aliyu Kiyawa chaired the second session on “Building Elite Consensus on Income Diversification, Financial Inclusion and Wealth Creation in the North’.
At the end of the conference, it was announced that the chairman of Union Bank Board of Directors, Faruk Gumel, donated N1 million to the winner; N500,000 to the runner-up, and the third position N250,000 while other participants were given N50,000 each.
It was also announced that retired Gen. Halliru Akilu donated the sum of N200,000 to the fourth position while the 5th, 6th and 7th positions were given N150,000; N100,000 and N50,000 respectively.
Some of the innovative products exhibited during the conference included drone, aeroplane, incubator, and locally fabricated DNA testing machine among others.