Residents of Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb will always be thankful to their representative at the Federal House of Representatives, Babajimi Benson, after another season of 'giving back' to the people with is iCARE foundation.
The lawmaker who is in his first term at the House of Reps has already started giving out to his constituents en masse, but his recent innovation themed #StartUpIkorodu has become the talk of the town in the Lagos division as a lot of youths have started benefiting from the scheme.
The scheme provides opportunities for young entrepreneurs to get started with their lives and live their dreams with loans to carry out projects which they otherwise would not have been able to carry out.
According to Deen Sanwoola, the director general of the foundation, over 1,500 people applied to be part of this scheme, and they were made to go through a test to check out their eligibility.
"Those who did not pass were told immediately and that was how we were able to get 100 people, but today, we are graduating only 80 of them because some of them fell off along the way," he explained.
Five different projects were embarked on by the 80 people who were graduated during an elaborate ceremony which took place on Monday, November 21 in Ikorodu.
Akada, Taste Matters, Print 'n' More, Gbajumo and Wofa were the five projects which the people embarked on and the people explained their individual concepts to possible investors and everyone at the gathering on Monday.
While Akada represents an online market place for students, parents, book publishers and writers, Taste Masters dwelt on production of Samosa and Spring Rolls. Print 'n' More helps people personalise clothes and accessories, Gbajumo deals with fashion while Wofa helped some youths come up with an electrical device.
Speaking on the reason for establishing the scheme, Benson stated that, "With #StartUpIkorodu, our desire is to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurial growth and wealth creation in Ikorodu division by developing an Ecosystem that will aid wealth creation, give youths the opportunity to achieve their potentials and widen the pool of employers of labour.
"It is with great pride and pleasure that I congratulate each and every one of our grandaunts for completing the Accelerated Skills Acquisition Program (ASAP)."
"We shall be using these ones we recently trained as mentors for the next scheme which we'll be rolling out next year," he added.
On how came up with the concept for the people of his constituents, he explained: "H.E Akinwunmi Ambode inspired us to create this program during his campaign when he talked about setting up an employment trust fund; we latched on it and campaigned using it.
"We are happy to inform you all that we have been engaged as partners with the employment trust fund having gone through thorough scrutiny. Funds will be provided to deserving students amongst you that meet the criteria as spelt out by the employment trust fund.
"I would like to recognize and convey our gratitude to all those who have contributed towards the successful conclusion of this pioneer class. Our appreciation goes to the HC wealth creation, ES employment trust fund, Lagos technical college Ikorodu, various facilitators, StartUpIkorodu students and the best the team my ICARE foundation team."
Femi Gbajabiamila, the Majority Leader of the House of Reps who was also on seat to cheer his colleague, admired the intelligent and creative step taken by the Ikorodu son.
"I will take it to Surulere and do ten times what he has done for the people of Ikorodu. So you may start relocating to Surulere if you like because ours will be bigger than this," he said to a loud cheer by members of the audience.
Recently, elderly men and women, widows, widowers as well as some less privileged Lagosians were all smiles as they rushed out in their hundreds to collect free food as part of activities to mark this year’s World Food Day in Ikorodu area of Lagos.
As early as 10am on Sunday, October 16, the people had left their various houses in search of food which according to them, has eluded them for quite some time, as Jimi Benson, organised the collection to mark the World Food Day in his division.