Gov. Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos on Tuesday said he would award N10 million to the winners of the Ready Set Work (RSW) business pitch.
This was announced during the prize presentation at the graduation ceremony of the RSW initiative.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ‘Ready Set Work’ is an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, facilitated by the Office of the Special Adviser on Education.
It is aimed at equipping students with employability and entrepreneurship skills needed after graduation.
As part of the RSW exercise, 14 teams participated in the business idea pitch which took place on Oct. 13.
The winners were announced on Tuesday during the graduation of the 2018 initiative.
The initial prize for the first position was N1.5 million. Second position was given N1 million while the third position was given N750,000 for business funding.
In addition, a working capital of N300,000 each was given to the winners.
Furthermore, the Governor’s prize for the first, second and third positions are N5 million, N3 million and N2 million respectively.
Ambode reiterated the government’s commitment toward human capacity building which he noted was critical to the success of the nation.
“As the world awakens to the realisation that investment in human capital is critical to the success of any nation, we in Lagos will continue to invest in the course.
“We are happy to celebrate three years of consistent investment in our youths through the Ready Set Work initiative.
“By investing in people, we secure the future and prosperity of Lagos and also Nigeria.
“Through programmes like ‘Ready Set Work’, ‘Code Lagos’ and the ‘Employment Trust Fund’, we are providing platforms that will nurture a society of problem solvers, change makers and value-adding citizens.
“These innovative programmes will improve our economy and must not be allowed to die,” he said.
He congratulated the RSW graduates and charged them to use the skills acquired to transform Lagos and the nation as a whole.
Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, Special Adviser to Gov. Ambode on Education, lauded the Governor for sustaining the initiative for three years.
He expressed optimism that the next All Progressives Congress (APC) administration would build on the gains of the present one by continuing with projects that would aid human capital development.
“Ready set work is very key to us because it is this administration’s investment in human capital.
“The governor is a lover of students and seeing the impact of the programme he started three years ago is very inspiring.
“One of the challenges we had this year was the scope. We had 2,000 students in the face-to-face training and 5,000 online students.
“But the beautiful aspect of it was that we had a very large volunteer facilitator faculty and they were willing to support.
“We are excited that the 13-week training has come to an end and we have impacted over 5,000 students that will in turn make an impact on Nigeria.”
Vivian Afolayan, winner of the business pitch, thanked Gov. Ambode for the initiative, adding that it had impacted her life greatly
“My sincere gratitude goes to Gov. Ambode for this initiative.
“With the extra N5 million, I will be able to do more and enlarge the scope of my business.
Popoola Joshua, second place winner, said “this programme has changed my life and I’m sure I’ll go on to be an employer of labour and also change people’s lives”.