By Ibraheem Abdullateef
One thing about vision is its power to spark change. It doesn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative. The impacts materialise immediately and strongly. It is the same with lacking a vision. You begin to see the consequences. Swiftly. Fatal. And there is no need for a lecture, I could have given you the Seth Berkeley, Alan Mulally, John Maxwell of the world to buttress my point, instead, we will be speaking to reality. There is no greater definition of vision than what is unfolding right now in Kwara State.
Kwarapreneurs– a non-interest loan scheme for young entrepreneurs in the state represents an ambitious vision of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to raise a new generation of successful young men and women. Anchored by the Kwara State Social Investment Programmes (KWASSIP) office, a minimum of 300 successful applicants will get a loan ranging from N350, 000 to N3, 000, 000, or as their business may require or manage, while also being trained on business growth and management to become sustainably empowered.
Arguably the best ever seen in the state, many patriots have since lauded the initiative critically on the strength of reducing unemployment and fostering economic development. Some have further venerated the repayment scope which includes three-month moratorium and a long twelve-month loan completion plan. The amount of money to be given out to individuals is also singled out. Whereas many could have been covered under the scheme, analysts and development experts agree that having fewer beneficiaries who can be hugely supported and become sustainably empowered is better.
However, that is not all there is to the scheme and could not have been. On the deeper study of the programme, there is an inherent ideology to engineer a social change to youths engagement and empowerment in the country. In the ongoing selection process, 26% of the participants are female. While there is room for improvement, this is clearly an update on what was obtainable. Not only in leadership, young women have never been this encouraged as beneficiaries of government programmes on business in the North Central. It all boils down to the enabling environment. It continues Kwara’s resurgence as the home of opportunities for girlchild in Africa.
The other point in the process is transparency. The prevailing atmosphere of hope and optimism among youths across the state is not trivial. It is the realisation of possibilities in growth and development. Never have Kwara youths been lazy or useless, many years of neglect and lack of vision for growth at the top level accounts for the little progress and seeming pessimism. No one would not doubt himself if he had to constantly fail to survive due to cronyism and subversion of justice in allocation of public resources. On more than three occasions now, the EndSARS crisis; teachers’ recruitment; and bursary disbursement; the AbdulRazaq administration bears the same pattern of fairness. Among other things, Kwapreneur has come to engender public trust in government with its mode of operation. It is one thing that must endure to curb social apathy.
Through Kwapreneurs, Kwara is also leading advocacy for peacebuilding and healing of the nation after the EndSARS protests and all the accompanying social disorder. Identifying the implications of youth restiveness, policy experts have intensified campaigns on the need for equitable distribution of resources as it is vital to harmony. Aside from being the biggest investment in young people’s business since the historic moment, it sits clearly as a scheme genuinely thought out to give everyone a fair platform to show their skills and talent within the available funds so far they are capable. No one could be said to be denied access based on who they are or where they come from. It is particularly inspiring that Agriculture polled the highest in the top five sector distribution with 33. 4% alongside Fashion 10.1%; ICT 6.7%; Commercial/Retail 6.6%; Business Management 4.9%; and others 23.6% of the 7, 203 applicants. The demography bears renewed interest in Agribusiness and ICT by Kwara youths due to the prevalent atmosphere of support and freedom of economic expression and expansion.
In the recent past in the state, the mode and method of empowerment were crude, wasteful, discriminatory, and deliberately limiting. The best practice was handling able-bodied youths sewing and grinding machines, bicycle and tricycle to venture into commercialization without recourse to their knowledge, passion and ambitions. As is characteristic of unsustainable ventures, the materials were usually sold cheaply before they fell back to a messy lane beaten, frustrated, and dejected. With Kwaprenuer cutting a difference with an option for business of choice, youths are being encouraged to explore creativity and innovation to their level best for personal and state development. Such subtle message of reorientation, when viewed critically viz-a-viz the establishment of Ilorin Innovation Hub and the Digital Kwara programme, reveals a big, wide vision to position Kwara as a leading state for self-development and innovation in Digital Media and Technology in near future.
Kwaprenuers is equally the right scheme to promote values like honesty, dignity of labour, and industry. This is hugely invaluable at a time many young people are foraying into internet frauds to make ends meet. To localise the implications, it was a lack of regard for these socio-cultural values that left the state broken and insecure at many times in history. For instance, at the belly of the spate of hooliganism and electoral violence including the famous Offa robbery that cost 33 previous lives are inherent executive support for rascality. The height of it was that they were paid more than could be imagined, including being sponsored on Hajj and vacation at the expense of public interest. If history is meant to be studied, what Kwaprenuers emphasises to the populace is that a state is designed after its leaders.
Kwarans, especially the youths, can tell the difference now. On his avowed mission to rebuild the state, AbdulRazaq has clearly proven that youths development is at the centre of it. Nothing makes the whole thing a lot more fascinating than the fact that you do not need to have any special affiliation to benefit. That is the change we voted for.
Falsehood, Disinformation Won’t Win Elections, Tinubu Tells Obi
Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), has urged Peter Obi, the candidate for the Labour Party, to warn his supporters against spreading false information.
Speaking on behalf of Asiwaju, Bayo Onanuga, the Director of Media and Communications for the Tinubu Campaign Organization (TCO), claimed that Obi’s supporters have been spreading false information to the public in an effort to harm the APC candidate.
Recall that a report emerged online a few days ago, that the Ghanian President, Nana Akufo-Addo wrote a letter to Asiwaju, asking him to step down and support Peter Obi and take care of his health.
The President had via his official Twitter handle, debunked the report, calling it fake news, stating that it is a product of deliberate mischief with the intent to deceive the public.
Reacting, the TCO media Director asked Obi to disavow his supporters who are employing fake news against the former Lagos State Governor.
“We have come to a point where it becomes imperative to tell Obi to show leadership and disavow his supporters who are employing fake news and disinformation as deliberate tools to deceive and poison the minds of unsuspecting Nigerians,” Onanuga stated.
JUST IN: More Trouble For PDP As Women Leader Defects To APC
Hajiya Yar-Sokoto Jega, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) women leader for Kebbi Central, Kebbi State, has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Jega said this when she spoke at a ceremony in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday,
According to her, she left the party because of injustice and a lack of purposeful leadership.
Jega stated that she decided to join the APC because of the numerous achievements of Gov. Atiku Bagudu, adding that she joined the party with over 800 supporters.
“I have been in PDP for many years, they have nothing to show to people and we have been neglected by the party.
“I even use my money for the cause of the party, but yet I have not seen any change with my people, especially the women that I represent.
“Prior to my defection, I was in charge of eight local government areas under the PDP, I left with most of my followers,” Jega said.
Some of the dignitaries at the ceremony were Alhaji Abubakar Kana-Zuru, the state APC Chairman; Alhaji Sani Zauro, the Chairman of the state APC Elders Forum; and Alhaji Faruk Musa-Yaro, Personal Assistant to the state governor.
PDP Speaks On Wike Allegedly Banning Atiku’s Campaign In Rivers
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State has dismissed claims that the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, banned its members from campaigning for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar in the State.
PDP State Publicity Secretary, Tambari Gbara, stressed that Wike never banned party chieftains from campaigning for Atiku in Rivers State.
Gbara was reacting to claims by a former Rivers Southeast Senator, Ledogo Maeba, that Wike warned some chieftains of the party against campaigning for Atiku in the State.
Maeba said Wike had issued the warning after he and some chieftains of the party visited Atiku and apologized on behalf of the governor.
The former lawmaker said the governor reprimanded them for visiting Atiku without his consent.
Maeba said Wike also threatened that anyone who campaigned for Atiku in Rivers State without his permission would be dealt with.
However, Gbara challenged Maeba to prove his allegation that Wike issued a threat against anyone campaigning for Atiku in the State.
In a statement, Gbara said: “If the governor wants to make that statement, he would make it official, that, in the State, nobody should campaign for Atiku Abubakar.
“Governor Wike is not somebody that hides his feelings. If he wants to say that, I don’t think he would say it privately. So, the person making the allegation should come out and prove himself.
“He (Maeba) should be able to furnish Rivers people and Nigerians with evidence.”
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