By Taiwo Ogunniyi, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the weekend pledged continuous support for young people, including those involved in various enterprise.
The Governor spoke in Ilorin at the Grand Finale of the 2nd Kwara State Youth Fair, a government event organised to promote entrepreneurship among the youths and create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
AbdulRazaq, who inspected all the 323 exhibition stands erected by the young entrepreneurs, said the large turnout was encouraging and an incentive for the government to do more.
“I am really impressed. This is a great improvement compared to what we had last year. And it encourages us to do more. We will now make it an annual event. It shows that our youths are very enterprising. 80% of what they displayed are made locally.
“All they need is encouragement, investment and grants,” he told reporters on the sideline of the fair, which was organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Youths Engagement.
“Certainly we will do more of this. The basic thing is youth engagement, and to be able to give them grants, guide them in the right direction and expand financial inclusiveness for the youth.
“They are the future of the country. Once we encourage and invest in them, then they will be the next powerhouse of our economy.”
He commended the SSA on Youth Engagement Mrs Kaosara Adeyi for the initiative, and thanked every organisation that took part and made the programme a success story.
He specifically thanked NAFDAC for guiding the youths on how to be NAFDAC compliant for most of their products.
The Governor was accompanied on the inspection of the business stands by the Director General of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, Comrade Issa Aremu, among others
The fair was attended by over 300 successful young entrepreneurs.
It provided the participants a better platform to sell their products, showcase indigenous products of the state to the world, attract potential investors to small businesses, and provide a platform for mentorship, business partnerships and growth.
Among the winners at the business-exhibition event were Haleemah Ishola, CEO Leemash Products; Saliu Mujibat of Hamaz Design; and AbdulRahman Funsho Elelu who produces footwears, belts, and bracelets.
Some of the participants expressed their happiness about the Fair, and urged the government to make it a continuous exercise.
Elelu, who is a graduate of Aeronautical Engineering at the Kwara State University (KWASU), said he went into the business 6 years ago, and has been impacting the lives of many shoe vendors in the State.
He thanked AbdulRazaq for supporting them to realise their potentials in life and prosper.
Edited by Felix Ajide