As part of efforts aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship in the country, the Bank of Industry (BOI) has approved the sum of ₦250million to support the entrepreneurship drive of the University of Lagos, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has said.
He made this known while addressing newsmen ahead of the 50th convocation ceremony of the institution billed to hold from April 1-5, 2019.
Professor Ogundipe further disclosed that the University will be giving out loans between N1million to N2million to start-ups from the fund, depending on the proposal and cost required.
“This will be an interest-free loan to the students and it shall be a revolving fund,” he said, noting that representatives from the office of the Executive Secretary of TETFund as well as the Nigeria Senate Committee on Tertiary Institution and TETFund led by Senator B. I. Jibrin had visited and adjudged Unilag’s entrepreneurship centre as the best in any Nigerian University.
Speaking further, Prof. Ogundipe disclosed that the University’s Business School is set to take off, adding that when it becomes fully functional, the School would run short executive courses and professional degree programmes with highly experienced industry personnel as facilitators.
“We are currently re-positioning the Distance Learning Institute to operate 100% Open Distance Learning and increase its student intake. The Institute has also introduced new programmes such as the B.Sc. in Transportation.
“We are putting things together to make the programmes more attractive to the public. The University is set to start off a Microfinance Bank which would be an additional source of revenue for the University; and also assist members of staff and the community in meeting some of their financial needs towards home ownership, small scale enterprises, school fees, car purchase and the likes.
“In the last one year, we have expanded the mandate of the Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre to engage in critical activities to promote entrepreneurship training for both staff and students of the University.
“The second Design Thinking programme sponsored by Lufthansa in the University was successfully held last year. The programme was sponsored with the sum of ₦70million by Lufthansa. A total of 30 business prototypes were showcased and we are in the process of registering 15 business initiatives from the programme.
“The University is now taking over the programme as part of our commitment to promoting problem-solving and viable businesses in Nigeria. The Centre has also fired up the spirit of entrepreneurship by assisting to prepare our students for local and international competitions.
“In this regard, over 1,200 students in the University were supported to participate in the Lagos State Ready-Set-Work initiative of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state.
This helped in further broadening the horizon of our students as they developed business ideas and pitched same at the grand finale.
“Popoola Ayodeji, a student of Department of Geosciences came second and won a cash prize of ₦4million with his Eko Laundry Business initiative,” he said.