**VP Shettima lauds initiative to further empower 1million SMEs*
Furtherance to its pledge to support the job creation agenda of the Tinubu administration, WEMA Bank in partnership with the Office of the Vice President, has concluded arrangements to commence an initiative that will impact 2 million youths and 1 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.
The Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima who received an update report on the programme on Monday during a courtesy visit by the Managing Director of WEMA Bank, Mr Moruf Oseni, lauded the commitment and partnership of the bank for the initiative.
The delegation were at the Villa to brief the Vice President on the progress made in the implementation of the FGN-ALAT Digital Skill-Novation Programme – an initiative of a partnership between the Federal Government and WEMA Bank to train 2 million youths and empower 1 million Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across Nigeria.
Speaking on the support and commitment of the bank in the execution of the initiative, the VP said “I will call on you to be above board. You are a good organization. I want to thank you most sincerely for your initiative and commitment, be rest assured that we will fulfill our own part of the bargain.”
Speaking to State House correspondents later in an interview, the MD of WEMA Bank, Mr Moruf Oseni said they were at the Presidential Villa to brief the Vice President on “how far we have gone on the FGN/ALAT project. Vice President was very happy, and shortly you will hear from his office of how we want to progress with this programme, part of this is to help create innovation hubs across the country for us.
“Mr president came out with a very bold and audacious plan on how to revive the Nigerian economy. The banks are a key player and we will put in our best to actualize this. If Nigeria does well, the financial institutions will do well. Mr. President is 100% on track and we are totally in support of his administration.”
On his part, Mr Temitola Adekunle- Johnson, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, emphasized the significance of collaboration, noting that “there is power in partnership. Private sector and the public sector coming together can always do more for the people. Mr. President’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda cannot be achieved by the government or private sector alone as it requires all hands on deck.
“So, we dug deep into the private sector to see how they can actually play their own role. In the first instance they agreed to partner with us on skills acquisition and in other aspects of the scheme that we plan to implement.”
The FGN/ALAT Digital Skill-Novation Programme will be formally launched by the Vice President on the 29th of September at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
Also present at the meeting were Mr Tunde Mabawonko, Executive Director, WEMA Bank; Mr Bamidele Adefemi, Head of Federal Public Sector, and Mr Chioma Onuaguluchi, Regional Executive, Abuja.
*Office of the Vice President*
*18th September 2023*