The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on Friday gave N1.5 million to three corps members, to boost self employment.

The money was given to the corps members under an entrepreneurship and empowerment programme it initiated for corps members.

It is tagged “Managing Director’s Annual NYSC Entrepreneurship Competition.”

The programme involves business plan contest among corps members serving in the organisation.

At the end of the maiden edition of the initiative, three of the 15 contestants led and were presented cheques of N500,000 each, at a ceremony held at AMCON office in Abuja.

They are: Joanna Jewel Adamu (FC/21A/1265), Umar Aliyu Gosta (FC/21A/1251) and Abdulsamad Saidu Usman (FC/21A/1046).

Their proposals centered on online art and fashion business; poultry production; and technological innovation, respectively.

Speaking on the occasion, the Managing Director of AMCON, Alhaji Ahmed Lawan noted that the programme was initiated as part of efforts to reduce the  high rate of graduate unemployment.

“There is need for the stakeholders to work towards steering the mindset of the youths from that of seeking white collar jobs to that of entrepreneurial engagement,” Lawan said.

The Managing Director, who lauded the various empowerment programmes of the Federal Government, called for incorporation of functional entrepreneurship training into the nation’s education curriculum.

“AMCON initiated the entrepreneurship programme for corps members in appreciation of the invaluable contributions of NYSC to national development.

“The intervention began with the conduct of entrepreneurship training for the corps members with some members of staff of the organisation volunteering as resource persons,” Lawan said.

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He explained that the introduction of the business plan contest was aimed at providing funds to enable the winners actualize their business dreams.

“And in the process, contribute to the economic development of the country,” Lawan said.

In his address, the NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, said the scheme had been assiduous in the implementation of its Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme (SAED).

Ibrahim added that many ex-trainees of the programme were now owners of flourishing businesses.

“Corps members had enormous potentials for self-employment, but the challenge was always that of access to fund to actualize their business plans,” he said.

The Director-General said this informed the proposal for the establishment of NYSC Trust Fund.

He further promised that the scheme would strictly monitor the beneficiaries of the programme and provide feedback to AMCON on their business progress.

Speaking on behalf of her colleagues, one of the winners, Joana Jewel-Adamu lauded AMCON for availing them of the opportunity for empowerment. (NAN)