As part of efforts to encourage entrepreneurship in the country, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has earmarked N250million to the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Centre for Entrepreneurship.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, disclosed this on Tuesday at the grand finale of the maiden edition of the Professor Ogundipe Innovative Challenge (POIC) 2019.
The event, held at the Jelili Adebisi Omotola Hall of the University, also witnessed three of the best teams rewarded with one million Naira each.
In his remarks on the occasion, Professor Ogundipe, who stated that N50million of the N250million was for training and renovations, disclosed that N200millionwould be given as loans to start-ups among the students, depending on their proposal and cost required.
“We will be giving out loans between N1million to N2million to students that are able to come up with brilliant business ideas. We are also planning to register a limited liability company for our students while we will recommend experts to mentor them. It’s not about certificate but about how they apply what they have learnt.
“We are also thinking of bringing our students who are into modelling for mentoring so that they can be properly empowered,” he said.
The VC, who encouraged the students to embrace entrepreneurial skills, disclosed that Lufthansa invested N70million in UNILAG entrepreneurship drive last year from which over 30 business prototypes were showcased.
“We are going to recommend people who have the facility; innovation brings you new ideas; what we are doing is bringing you new project and something that will make your product different”, Prof. Ogundipe said.
POIC is an annual innovation competition for students who are able to use science and technology to step forward to birth new ideas and scientific breakthroughs that would benefit mankind as a whole.
POIC is named after Professor Ogundipe due to his unabridged and relentless support for research and innovation in all spheres of science and technology.
In the long term, POIC is aimed at being a launch pad for groundbreaking ideas which would mature into statups that would go a long way towards growing the Nigerian economy and positioning the country in the forefront of modern trends in science and technology climes.
The occasion was graced by dignitaries, including President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by his Senior Adviser on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole; of which are the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was also represented by Special Adviser on Science and Technology, Mr. Tunbosun Alake; the Special Guest, Dr. Akintola Akindele; and other top management and academic staff of the University.
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