Oyo state and other six states will benefit from the Federal Government’s partnership with WEMA Bank on the launch of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME, digital hub expected to empower million youths across the country with digital and related skills.
The initiative was in line with President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s commitment to providing more digital jobs for young Nigerians through the Office of the Vice President.
The centres to be known as FGN/ALAT Digital and SkillNnovation Hub will open first in Lagos and Borno States with Katsina, Cross River, Anambra, Oyo, and Kano to follow afterwards. They will be run in partnership with a leading financial institution in Nigeria, WEMA Bank.
A statement issued by Olusola Abiola, Director Information, Office of the Vice President, on Saturday, explained that the arrangement for the initiative was reached after a recent meeting between representatives of the bank and Vice President Kashim Shettima in Abuja.
According to the statement, the strategic objectives of the programme include: to empower young entrepreneurs by providing them with tailored financial products, training and support to enable them build sustainable businesses that will support the growth of Nigeria’s economy.
Other objectives include: supporting tech-savvy youths with keen interest in digital innovations and aspire to drive technological advancements, by providing them with financial solutions, training and access to strategic partnerships; and empowering young employees to become an integral part of the workforce in Nigeria especially those deployed through the NYSC.
FGN/ALAT Digital and SkillNnovation Hub, positioned to serve as a centralised platform to provide cutting-edge digital skills, mentorship and networking opportunities, is targeted at tech-savvy youths and young entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
The focus is on promoting entrepreneurship, skills development and the integration of young employees in the workforce, particularly getting one million youths employed in the digital economy and upskilling SMEs who can directly add value to the country’s economy.
The statement also stated that in training, one million young adults will be trained in software engineering, product management, business analysis, cloud computing, product design, using a specialized curriculum designed for the FGN/ALAT Digital and SkillNnovation Hub.
In mentorship, 500,000 SMEs across Nigeria will be mentored by experts while coaches will train and upskill them for business growth and quantum leap.
Under the scheme, grants will be provided under a collaborative arrangement between the Federal Government and WEMA Bank, setting aside N500 million to be given to SMEs and Techprenuers.