The Federal Capital Territory Administration ( FCTA) has reiterated its commitment to prioritising young entrepreneurs skills development as a measure to bridge the gap and support economic growth in the nation’s capital.

The FCTA’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Adesola Olusade, gave the assurance when he officially launched the 4th Edition of Abuja Business Plan Competition (ABPC), on Tuesday in Abuja.

Olusade said that the Abuja Business Plan Competition was one of the innovative platforms the administration designed to foster youths’ participation in harnessing their potential and also generating wealth.

He said the previous competitions had produced young entrepreneurs, who became emerging leaders in the business world through their skills, products and services and already exporting outside Nigeria.

“The FCT Administration believes firmly in the huge potential of young Nigerians in producing the future business leaders and innovators who will rejuvenate the economic growth of our nation.

“That is why we are investing heavily in youth development projects, programmes and interventions like the Abuja Business Plan Competition which has the potential of creating jobs, generating wealth and building the next generation of business leaders.”

Earlier, the Managing Director, Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), Malam Shehu Abdulkadir, said the agency was partnering with several organisations to deepen the impact of the competition, while strengthening the achievements of the past.

According to him, the 4TH Abuja Business Plan Competition (ABPC) is designed to support SMEs growth by encouraging proper business plan writing and promote healthy competition among entrepreneurs.

He said that the competition would initiate an arena to enable large businesses and banks support upcoming entrepreneurs, and build a network of resources for mentorship, team creation, education and venture financing.

“This is the first of many that are yet to come and I believe we have a lot to do in partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) from the Digital Innovation Academy.

“We are hoping to commence the process of engagement towards having the project executed in the FCT.

“I believe the project will support directly nothing less than 200 people,” he said.

The Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Mr Wale Fasanya hinted on donating an award to the winners of the competition.

Fasanya also explained that the agency was collaborating with some financial Institutions to give interest-free loans to the young entrepreneurs.

In his remarks, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Yuzurio Susumiu said his country was interested in the youths entrepreneurial skills development because of its belief that the future lied with them.

Susumiu acknowledged that Nigerian youths were already doing well in the area of innovative ideas and business development.

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