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The Jos Branch Manager of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Ezekiel Shammah, has expressed displeasure on what he described as very poor turnout for the application to access business start-up grants offered by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) across the states of the North.
Recall that TEF had so far empowered 3,000 young entrepreneurs in Africa, and the 2018 applicants are expected to submit their applications on or before March 1.
The TEF seed money is being administrated by the UBA Plc considering that the founder is the chairman of the bank.
Whereas more Nigerians have gained from the foundation grants over the years, several youths from other countries in Africa had also been empowered by the foundation as the grants now are for African youths empowerment toi drive the founder’s vision of ‘Africapitalism’.
In an interview, Shammah decried that “Applications for business seed money and other services offered by TEF are abysmally low from the north, when compared with the entries from other parts of the country. Northern entrepreneurs should explore the opportunities offered by TEF”.
He said UBA had been driving the campaign for more applicants from the north to show real interest in the interest-free foundation’s grants.
Business Hilights gathered that this year, the foundation is offering $5,000s each to innovative youths, and challenged Nigerian youths to apply for the fund to step up their businesses.
The Jos Branch manager further noted that “The foundation also provides business development programmes, training, mentoring and funding for successful entrepreneurs picked.
“It also tries to build and grow the economy of various counties in Africa and beyond,” he said.
“The TEF believes that the private sector holds the key to unlocking Africa’s economic potential and is committed to empowering entrepreneurs through capacity development, seed capital, mentoring and networking.”