By Stanley Onyekwere
The Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), at the weekend performed graduation ceremony for 33 young Nigerians in its 2nd Youth Enterprise Programme (YEP) at its Head office, in Mabushi area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In her speech at the event, Chairperson of the occasion and Managing Director AEA, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, congratulated the graduands, urging them to put into practical use the skills, it took them about eight weeks to acquire so that to become self-reliant and employers of labour, in the nearest future.
According to her, the over 30 trainees were adequately equipped with requisite entrepreneurial skills such as writing of business plans, human resource management, customer care and generally all that is required for them to start and successfully manage any business enterprises that would be sustainable.
Represented by AEA’s Enterprise Development Manager, by Mrs. Raliat Alimi, the MD reiterated that the organization was fast-tracking processes that would provide the new trainees access to financial resources that would enable the establish business ventures of their own, in line with their various business plans.
She added that the FCTA’s enterprise arm was included as a beneficiary of Central Bank of Nigeria funds for Small Scale Business enterprises.
Stressing that together with her microfinance institutions across the Territory, she noted that AEA would be able to provide necessary financial assistants to them and as well enlighten them how to access such funds from Bank of Industry and the World Bank, to establish and grow their business ventures.
On his part, a representative of the Federal Inland Revenue Services, Mr. Eze Alan Ifeani, who presented a paper on Voluntary Tax Compliance under the Self-assessment System, urged all intending entrepreneurs to keep their records straight.
He stressed that they should not to forget to pay their tax when they start making money, as the FIRS would only come knocking when they fail to do self-assessment compliance.
One of the graduates, Miss Jane Francis Johnson, who did not hide her excitement, said attending the programme was an eye-opener for her, because she now knows what it really takes to start and run a successful business.
“Before now, I thought that with my money, I would just rent a shop and start a business, but here I was taught on the appropriate steps to take; I learnt how to properly keep banking and accounting records, register my business and also pay tax,” she revealed.
Similarly, another beneficiary, Mr. Toma Agio, said that it was an opportunity he was craving, where he would meet experts with experience in the Nigerian market and that was achieved.
The AEA’s Youth Enterprise Programme is designed for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, fresh graduates and other unemployed youths within the ages of 18 and 35, who are desirous of developing enterprise skills.