Some budding entrepreneurs from the Ken Saro-Wiwa Innovation Hub on Wednesday 18th were given the privilege to present their business ideas and projects to investors and potential clients.
The KSIH Pitch Day was organized with sponsorship from Stakeholder Democracy Network to allow these early-stage companies to attract funding, partnerships and clientele for their projects.
Top business executives, representatives of several banks, members of the civil society and the media listened with rapt attention as each company used slides of pictures and a few paragraphs to outline what they are doing, the traction they are seeing and team Bios. The event held at Elkan Terrace Hotel in GRA, Port Harcourt.
The young companies that made presentations include Entric, Nira Stock, TinX and Alpha Next
Speaking at the event, chief executive officer of Bobmanuel Tractor Limited and president of Rivers Entrepreneurs and Investors Forum, said he feels very much at home as he naturally connected with the young businessmen. Recounting his odyssey into the entrepreneurial world, he said: I have always been a passionate entrepreneur right from when I was in school.”
“Getting into school, the first thing I told my self was that I wanted to make money and at the same time make good grades. So I worked round the clock to find a niche for myself”, he said.
“As at when I left school I was very successful that I had a haulage company that was running. I had three trailers. I had two cars of mine. I lived very comfortably.”
“My last entrepreneurial effort is Bobtrac, the first indigenous tractor manufacturing company. Bobtrac is a company we project to invest as much as $50 million and we have done 50% of that”
“We manufacture wholly Nigerian tractors and we have a sales projection of a thousand tractors in a year, which will not be too hard.”
He said if we could come from our very humble beginning with a focus that this is where we intend to be- if we can make it. The younger ones are even smarter than we are, you guys have what it takes to even do better.”
Also, a former member of the Rivers state House of Assembly, Dr Victoria Nyeche said she was impressed seeing people standing confidently as CEOs and demonstrating ideas that would help change the narrative about Nigeria.
“This is what happens in developed countries where young people become CEOs of thriving companies “, she said.
Dr Nyeche charged the new CEOs to take the criticism on their works as tools to further sharpen their ideas. “When you start a business, don’t get challenged no matter the challenges. Behind every success story, some stories are not so successful”, she added.
All the companies that participated in the Demo are products of Ken Saro-Wiwa Innovative Hub(KSIH). KSIH is sponsored by Stakeholder Democracy Network, the hub serves as a centre where developers, designers, entrepreneurs and trainees come together to learn, practice, network and build innovative solutions to inherent challenges in the region. The Hub provides the following Activities: Tech Training’s and Meetups, Incubation Programme, Co-working Space and Community for aspiring techies.
The hub runs a 6-month ‘incubation’ programme known as the Ken Jr Award for Innovation. The programme is designed for aspiring tech entrepreneurs, providing training, mentorship support, and soft skills to teams of people who have a business idea and minimum viable product that they want to take to market. The incubation programme aims to help mid-stage startups to build on their idea/ prototype/ venture through technology mentoring, validation, intellectual property support, marketing strategy, team building, fundraising advisory etc.
2023: Why Nigerians are bashing FFK over endorsement of Yahaya Bello’s presidential bid
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani Kayode, is no doubt a newsmaker. His recent tweet endorsing the presidential ambition of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is creating a storm of sorts.
His tweet reads:
“The idea that Gov. Yahaya Bello should not run for the Presidency & that the NC zone, which has never produced a democratically elected President, ought to settle for another position is absurd. Nigeria needs strong & decisive leadership, a generational change & a bridge-builder.”
FFK’s twitter post follows an earlier statement from a support group within the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has asking Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to drop his presidential ambition and support calls to zone the national chairmanship of the party to the North Central geopolitical zone.
The former Minister’s Twitter post has continued to generate a hail of harsh criticism as Nigerians recall that only three years ago, FFK had reacted to Bello’s open pledge of loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari by saying that the mental faculties of the Governor of Kogi State are not functional.
Why Gov El Rufai Insists that Bandits must be wiped out, not negotiated with
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said again expressed his zero tolerance for bandits terrorising Nigeria.
Speaking during a town hall meeting on national security organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture held in Kaduna, with theme, “Setting Benchmark for Enhanced and National Unity in Nigeria”, Governor El Rufai stated that bandits have lost their rights to life under the constitution and must be wiped out. He also said a situation where security agencies only responded to incidents of banditry was unacceptable.
El Rufai said: “The bandits are at war with Nigeria and there is no other way to approach the current insurgency but for security forces to take the war to the bandits and recover forests where they are occupying.
“The security agencies mostly react to cases of banditry and abduction, we are in a war with these terrorist challenging the sovereignty of the Nigerian state.
“Our security forces must collaborate to take the war to the bandits and terrorist, recover and restore the forest to enable our law-abiding citizens to engage in legitimate farming and livestock production,’’ .
El-Rufai stated that no one in a position of responsibility could deny the need for sustained action against criminals, adding that security operations that were more proactive would cripple the outlaws and reassure ordinary citizens.
He said government must identify and deal with non state-actors and others challenging the existence of the country. The governor advised that security forces should be increased and be well equipped to deal with insurgency, adding that judiciary must also be decentralised to serve justice.
“To address the banditry problem, we must implement the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, already produced four years ago to enable accelerated investment in modern animal husbandry on operating rapid decentralization of herders in known locations,” he said.
Governor El-Rufai also stressed the need for security agencies to be proactive in the fight against banditry and other violent crime, saying a situation where they only responded to incidents of banditry was unacceptable.
He said security agencies must collaborate and take the fight to bandits and kidnappers because the country was at war with them. “The situation in which the security agencies mostly only react to cases of banditry and abduction is unacceptable.
“We are in a war with these terrorists who are challenging the sovereignty and monopoly of the instruments of coercion of the Nigerian state and its territory.
“Our security forces must collaborate to take the war to them, recover and restore the un-governed forests these terrorists occupy, and enable our law-abiding citizens to engage in their legitimate pursuits,’’ the governor said.
He reiterated his position that bandits must be “wiped out” because they had lost their right to life, by virtue of the constitution.
He said: “These bandits have lost their right to life under our constitution and must be wiped out in their entirety. There is no other way to approach the current insurgency situation today as far as governmental action is concerned.’’
According to him, the country has found itself in near-anarchy because there are too many carrots without sticks.
“Notions of a common humanity, not to talk of a common citizenship are not as widely or deeply shared as it would appear. Identity politics holds sway. This reflects the absence of an elite consensus about who we are and how we should live together,” he said.
The governor said more responsibilities should be given to states so that the federal government would not blamed for everything that goes wrong.
“Centralised policing in a federation is not only a contradiction in terms. The state governments today bear most of the burden of the running costs of the federal police anyway, so why not the sub-nationals of the state police now. So I repeat my persistent call for state police as soon as possible.
“To address the banditry prevalent in the north-west and north-central, we must implement the national livestock transformation plan already produced four years ago,’’ Governor El-Rufai said.
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