Nigeria surprised us all last year, when it promised to give us a fair and square competition, run primarily with technology, named the YOUWIN competition. The President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan claimed that there would be no 'jumping queues', partiality or 'cutting corners'. While some people that were disqualified in the first and second parts of the competition cried 'foul! corruption', many in the same position heralded it as a 'corruption-free' process. Six thousand passed the initial stage and got essential business training, out of which One thousand two hundred winners emerged from the debut edition and they have received the first tranch of the financial assistance they requested for in their businesses.
Another season has just been launched by President Jonathan. The launching ceremony was held on the third of September, 2012 at the State House, Abuja, and had many dignitaries present, including the Vice President, Nnamadi Sambo, Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The Minister of Women affairs gave a speech lauding the focus on women for this season. The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, gave the success record of the first season. Three female winners from the previous season were given the opportunity to tell the country, how YOUWIN has changed their lives. One particular lady, Mrs. Aderonke Oyetuniji [a graduate of CEM], who is into production and packaging of pounded yam flour, praised the impact of the scheme, saying,
“The impact on my business has been enormous; I used the first tranche of the fund to procure an automated sealing and packaging machine with Nylon pouch that is compliant with international standards.
Before the intervention, I had only one staff working in the company, doing the procurement of raw materials, doing production and marketing — and that was me.
Now, the staff strength has increased to three and the casual staff has increased from zero to six people on a daily basis. By the end of September, three more staff are expected to join the company, to raise the number of employees to six.”
Nigeria will definitely watch [and pray] the second phase, and also participate, as there are many women out there that need training and assistance.
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