Four members of the National Youth Service Corps have received N6.5 million for winning the Farmers for the Future Grant competition organised by the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF).
The competition is aimed at boosting agri-business and other value chains among Nigerian youths.
The winners were among the ten finalists selected out of over 20,000 entrants for the competition.
Chiamaka Mary Ikechukwu who is the promoter of NuceoAgro Services, emerged the overall winner and received N3.5 million; Augustine Nwafor, promoter of Custonus Automative received N2 million for coming second while Juwon Ibitomi received N1 million for coming third, totaling N6.5 million.
Executive Director of BATNF, Ms Abimbola Okoya, said the exercise is expected to encourage self-employment through agro-allied ventures.
She said BATNF has contributed immensely to Nigeria’s sustainable development agenda, especially in the areas of poverty reduction and improvement in the quality of life of Nigerians living in rural areas.
Okoya stated that as an ex-Corps Member of the NYSC Scheme, the Corps had prepared her adequately for the role she is playing today in the Foundation.
“I want to thank NYSC for always supporting the youths to translate ideas into money because agriculture is the key and it’s very stable”, she said in a statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the NYSC, Mrs Adenike Adeyemi.
NYSC Director-General, Brig-Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim stated that the competition will inspire youth productivity and self-employment through agriculture.
The DG said it would also ensure food security, create wealth and develop the economy.
“BATNF has etched it’s footprints in the annals of Nigeria’s history as one of the best in youth engagement and development. NYSC is exceedingly happy to collaborate with the BATNF in this ground-breaking initiative,” the DG said.
Ibrahim urged the prize winners to utilise the experiences garnered from the competition to provide good entrepreneurial leadership for their colleagues and participants in subsequent editions of the competition.
He said: “You should remain good ambassadors of the NYSC; you are the leaders of tomorrow and tomorrow begins now for all of you.”
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