Northern Nigerian Breaking News

CBN TIES: 30 varsities, polys compete for N900m

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) second pitch competition opened in Abuja on Monday, with 30 universities and polytechnics vying for the top five positions.

The five best among the competitors would receive a total of N900 million.

The first position would attract N250 million; the second N200 million; while the third, fourth and fifth would receive N180 million, N150 million and 120 million, respectively.

Solacebase reports that CBN introduced the TIES as part of its policies of creating a paradigm shift among undergraduates and graduates of Nigerian universities and polytechnics from seeking white-collar jobs to entrepreneurship development.

Read Also:CBN launches tertiary institutions entrepreneurship scheme

5th aNNI

The scheme comprised three components: Term Loan, Equity Investment and Development (grant).

The CBN, under the developmental component, called for proposals from Nigerian universities and polytechnics to compete for development grants.

The grant has been designed to promote the development of innovations that are commercially viable and have the potential for high economic impact.

Sectors of focus include agribusiness, the creative industry, science and technology, as well as, Information and Communications Technology.

One of the competitors, Dr Caroline Alenoghena of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, in company with her student, Miss Esther Afolabi, are asking for grant to expand their Shea business hub.

According to her, Shea nuts grow abundantly in the northern part of Nigeria but its potential are not fully harnessed due to lack of a strategic template to explore it.

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She revealed that her team also pitched for the deepening of e-commerce in creating awareness and benefits of commercial dealership in Shea products.

She noted that her team targets to create 2,500 direct jobs along the Shea value chain, adding that N182 million would be required to achieve its aims and objectives which are very scalable.

She said: ‘We have researchers working on expanding Shea products. We are adopting and turning research findings into businesses. International certifications are needed and we intend to acquire those. We have a grant from World Bank and we will set up labs to have US certification and others. There enormous potential Shea products, not only Shea butter”.

In her remarks, Esther Afolabi, a Soil Science and Land Management student of FUT Minna described Shea value chain as a lucrative venture, especially as the materials for processing can be fabricated locally.

Another competitor, Dr (Mrs) Korter Grace and her student, Taiwo Akintola Endurance, both from the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State pitched the brick charcoal cooling chamber meant to reduce post harvest losses of farmers who grow fruits and vegetables.

Grace emphasized that the product, already in use in Kenya, Mali, India and other climes, empties into the ideals of Sustainable Development Goals 2&12.

She said the desire to create the charcoal cooling chamber was born out of the need to cut back on over 50% of losses that leave grocery farmers impoverished.

She said: “For a start, we are looking at preserving veggies and fruits. Ordinarily, refrigeration is the known means of preserving fruits and veggies, but we know how epileptic electricity is in Nigeria.

“Worse still, farmers, especially those in the rural areas who are off grid, don’t have access to electricity. This results in their produce not getting the right value and not getting to the desired destination. But with this local technology, an on-site project, we will use brick and charcoal to achieve 7° Fahrenheit of cooling, which is good to preserve these delicate produce.

“So, you put your fruits and vegetables inside a container and then into the chamber. It won’t use electricity. No need to fear for weather variation. The hotter the weather, the cooler the chamber”, she explained.

CBN TIES competition

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