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Friday, June 29, 2018


...young at heart

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. - Herman Melville

‘We’re carving a niche with serviced students’ accommodation’ Nazif Sabiu Baba and Jamil Nasir are the owners of Classique Benchmark Service, an

Financial education curriculum begins next session—CBN

agency that provides furnished and serviced accommodation for students in Abuja. The duo in an interview revealed plans to extend the services to other states.

From Sunday Michael Ogwu, Lagos @Sundaymichaelog

By Bamas Victoria & Hawahu Abdulsalam


hat do you do at Classic Benchmark Service? The firm provides comfortable houses for students at affordable rates. Such services include houses with internet services, which we furnish, provide a cook, do the laundry, convey them to school and back among others. How did the idea about this business came up? We came up with the idea when we went to school abroad. We saw that most student don’t stay on campus, and we rented a place in town. We lived together to reduce the huge bills. When we returned, we noticed that university accommodations were not enough here. We started with a few students that we know who did not want to stay home here in Abuja but still wanted to stay where they will be comfortable. We then got students from other states that needed places to stay our services and needed. When we started, the concept was to get a house and provide transport for them, which was the main issue, but we realised we could do better, and we started improving by incorporating feeding, cleaning, furnishing the house for them, and a whole range of services. How long have you been in business? We have been on for about two years, we started in September 2016 and so far, we have 10 people working for us. What are the challenges of running such a unique business? The main challenge is maintenance because the students often destroy properties, so we have to fix everything since we have to give the landlord

Foundation initiates childhood project in Lagos From Nurudeen Oyewole, Lagos Foundation for Montessori Education in Nigeria (FMEN), has unveiled plans to support families to properly manage the early childhood of their wards being raised with Montessori education. The NGO unveiled the

assurance that we will care of ill take their properties and return them in the turn state we found them. What has been the he highpoint of thiss business? We started with four students, now we have 47 students  Nazif we cater for. The Sabiu Baba profit has been good but we are reinvesting it into nto the business because ause we are looking ng at a long time.. W e basically spent the w h o l e profit that  Jamil we gained Nasir out of the whole thing. The e main capital tal intensive project oject is getting the furniture and a nd buying generator, bus, and air conditioner. But when you buy them, they last for several years before you need to fix or change them. We have been able to overcome funding issue by working with a company that have houses. They give us their houses, when we get paid by the students we pay them.

programme at its first annual general meeting held in Lagos. FMEN Chairperson, Bimpe Pogson, said the ‘Aid To Life’ project shall be focusing on three key areas of “preparing the child for the environment, connect the child with the environment and make time for the child.” “To support early years education in Nigeria, FMEN proposes to focus this initial phase of the programme on the less privileged in the society who don’t have access to child care,” Pogson said. The programme consists of a series of four sessions of talks on practical application of the Montessori principles and practices given to parents in different communities around Lagos.

A trustee, Noyenum Emafo said the project will support the natural development of the child through the early years because through this stage, the child is expected to be armed with life skills. “It is designed to achieve empowerment for parents/carers with the knowledge of a range of activities and actions based on Montessori principles and practices and support the natural development of the child and around the home,” Emafo said. The project coordinator, Mrs Yinka Awobo-Pearse, said the NGO has been reaching out to other groups of like minds, schools and individuals to seek partnership that can be beneficial to the Nigerian child.

CBN clears 3,000 youth for FG’s agro scheme in Kaduna The Kaduna State Government has said the first batch of 3,000 youth have been cleared to benefit from the Federal Government’s Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS). Yusuf Abdullahi, AADS Desk Officer in the state Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna. “We have received 3,000 clean list out of 7,000 applications submitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for screening and Bank Verification Number (BVN),“ Abdullahi said.

Abdullahi spoke on the sideline of the state’s Agriculture Vision Group (AVG) monthly meeting, convened by Synergos under the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA). He said the 3,000 successful youth would soon receive inputs worth over N34,000 for each one quarter acre of land. The scheme, introduced in 2017, is being implemented through collaboration between CBN and the 36 state governments. The programme aims to promote national food security through sustained agricultural

production as well as create employment for some 10,000 youth in each state. Participants in the AADS must be between the ages of 18 and 35 years willing to develop their livelihood in the agriculture sector. Kaduna State Government was selected to participate in the poultry, rice and sorghum valuechains in the scheme. Each youth farmer is expected to produce a minimum of 15 bags of either rice or sorghum and to pay back the interest-free loan with three bags of the produce at the end of the harvest season. (NAN)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it is hopeful that the Financial Education Curriculum (FEC) for secondary schools will begin next session. The Ag. Director, Consumer Protection Department of CBN, Yinka Ahmed said this at the opening ceremony of the teacher training workshop for the pilot testing of the curriculum at the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Lagos. The FEC was infused into the curricula of the relevant carrier subjects at the Basic and Senior Secondary Education levels; Teachers’ Guides were also developed for its implementation. Damola said through the leadership and direction provided by NERDC, the project began in 2016 and today, we are already commencing the pilot phase and hopefully launch at the beginning of the next academic session.” The curriculum, which is infused in several subjects is designed to address the dearth of knowledge and skills required by consumers to understand financial concepts, manage their personal financial matters to enhance their economic well-being and ultimately engender trust amongst them in the financial system. The Executive Secretary of NERDC, Prof Ismaii Junaidu said: “The aims of the FEC, among others, are to create awareness on the issue of financial management, develop in learners, the ability to plan resources and develop entrepreneurial skills among the teeming youth of Nigeria.”

Onu tasks young entrepreneurs on innovation By Zakariyya Adaramola The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has challenged young Nigerian entrepreneurs to be innovative and venture into research and development to solve the social and economic problems of the country. Dr. Onu, made the charge when he received the management team of School Shell, a tech startup company that designs platforms for school administration amongst students, parents and teachers, in his office in Abuja. He expressed joy in the resolve of the Nigerian youth, who constitute the majority of the nation’s population, in devoting their energy and resources to technology and innovation. The minister further tasked the youth to ensure that the nation attains economic viability, whereby Nigeria produces what she needs, thereby strengthening the naira, creating wealth and jobs for the teeming youth populace. He appreciated the gains of the tech start-up firm to paddle through the myriad of challenges to build software that would create effective solutions and add to the pool of technological innovations in the country. Dr. Onu was hopeful that due to the resilience of Nigerian youth and their interest in science, technology and innovation, the future of Nigeria is assured. The CEO of the firm, Mr Ayo David Ajayi, expressed his firm’s passion in building a new the country that would embrace Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). He added that the firm was created to proffer solutions to previous murky issues in school administration, such as making learning more effective and bridging the gap between students and parents.

DAILY TRUST, Friday, June 29, 2018


YOUTHVILLE My story: Zaheeda, graduate turned farmer shares experience FFrom Ch Christiana i ti TT. Al Alabi, bi Kaduna Kd


aheeda Jibril is a graduate of International Relations and Diplomacy from ESAE University in Cotonou, Benin Republic. She has however laid aside her certificate and became a farmer after she developed a passion for that. Her passion for farming predated her secondary and even tertiary education days. As a child she watched her mother nurtured small vegetable gardens and other useful economical trees and her interest in farming began to grow. “I developed interest in farming because my mother likes to make small vegetable gardens and other useful economical trees like pomegranate, moringa and so on, so I learnt a lot from her,” she said. Five years ago while she was still in the university, Zaheeda gradually chose

PZ Cussons unveils style contest for young fashonistas From Sunday Michael Ogwu, Lagos @Sundaymichaelog PZ Cussons foremost brands, Imperial Leather and Canoe have announced the launch of its fashion design competition tagged ‘Masters of Style’. The winner could get a cash prize of N500,000, an internship programme with a top Nigerian fashion designer and an opportunity to showcase his/her collection at one of Nigeria’s top fashion shows. The competition is set to start with the campus edition targeted at university undergraduates with talent in fashion designs. The maiden edition will be at University of Jos, Port Harcourt, Benin, Lagos, and Calabar. Interested students are encouraged to enter the competition by registering online at before August 1, 2018. Participants will be required to upload photos of their designs on the website, which they will also have to present during the campus showcase. Head of Marketing, PZ Cussons, Charles Nnochiri said, “Our brands, Imperial Leather and Canoe are big on luxury and style and have over the years supported many initiatives that have promoted the entrepreneurial spirit amongst Nigerian youth. “We have only thought it necessary to set up a platform that will continue to give rise to fresh talents in fashion designing and give them the initial push and support they need to go on and achieve their dream of becoming top designers,” he noted. The competition will run for three months, which will see the brands tour the selected universities across major cities in the country. Celebrity Fashion Designer, Mai Atafo; lifestyle personality, Latasha Ngwube are the expected judges for the competition and will also coach, mentor and inspire the young designers. They will then pick the 2018 Masters of Style winner.

her path as she h h iin agriculture i l h planted l d crops and rear animals. On graduation, she decided to go commercial with a start-up capital of N200,000. Zaheeda said she was inspired by popular successful businessman, Aliko Dangote to go into farming. “I planted maize and corn last year, it was a bumper harvest. I have over seven species of chickens. I don’t deal with broilers but noiler birds because each one can produce over 150 eggs within few months.” She also does hatchery where she hatches fish and bird eggs. “I rear cat fish, turkey, exotic pigeons, chickens and different species of exotic birds and other animals. I plant corn, beans, groundnut during the rainy season and rice, vegetables during dry season and many others. I also plant fruits including watermelon, lemon, orange, pawpaw, guava, banana and plantain,” she said.

On h her iinspiration, Zaheeda O i i h d said, “I want to be like Dangote in the nearest future. Some of my friends and relatives already call me female Dangote. He’s my role model. He’s into so many things and so am I on a small scale.” The graduate turned farmer is now an employer of six, saying she wants every household to get one or two of her products just like Dangote’s. However, availability of capital and lack of land to explore have remained a challenge to the growth of her business. While encouraging other young Nigerians to believe in their potentials and not rely on white-collar jobs, she said, “Farming can get you a comfortable income if you are determined and consistent.” She has also indicated interest in knowing how other nations develop politically, socially, economically and otherwise to further widen the scope of her business.

CITAD engages students to combat hate speech From Haruna Gimba Yaya, Gombe @haroungimba The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has conducted a two-day sensitization workshop for students of tertiary institutions to combat hate speech. The workshop which held in Gombe had participants drawn from schools in the six states of the North-east geopolitical zone. The Executive Director of the

centre, Dr Yunusa Zakari Ya’u, said they engaged students of higher institution of learning because they constituted 80 per cent of the social media presence, especially on Facebook and WhatsApp where most hate speeches are been perpetrated. He said the workshop aimed at expanding the perception of the participants on how to curtail the spread of hate speech in Nigeria ahead of the 2019 general elections. He said CITAD seeks to discourage

them from using the free space provided by the online and social media, to carry out hate or any dangerous speech capable of causing violence in the country. “The use of technological tools in combating hate speech becomes necessary bearing in mind the damages hate speech has done to the country, especially during previous elections. Because peace can only prevail when we live in a hate speech free society,” Ya’u said.

UN, others urge more youth to participate in MSMEs The United Nations (UN) and other stakeholders called for increased participation of youths in Micro Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to eradicate poverty and achieve UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. The call was made last Wednesday in Lagos at an event tagged: “MSMEs Day 2018: The Youth Dimension. The Country Director, United Nations Information

Centre (UNIC), Mr Ronald Kayanja, urged young people to take advantage of the various opportunities available to become entrepreneurs and contribute their quota to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy. “This event is to encourage youth to start their own businesses instead of waiting for white collar jobs which are becoming hard to come by these days,” he said.

President, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprise (NASME), Mr Orimadegun Agboade called for a review of the educational curriculum to acquire practical skills to avoid becoming emergency businessmen. Mrs Zainab Hammaga, Director, Raw Material Research and Development Council, urged young entrepreneurs to be abreast of information to ensure

that recent strategies are adopted to enable MSMEs meet up with global standards of practice. Mr Sola Dauda, representative of Small and Medium scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) said in partnership with the European Union, over 12,000 Nigerian youth who returned from Lybia recently were being trained to run small businesses. (NAN)

I have the youth’s mandate for 2019 Presidency — Udodiri From Abdullateef Aliyu and Vanessa Richard, Lagos A presidential aspirant under the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Prince Udodiri Collins, has said he is running for the office of the President as a representative of Nigerian youth. He regretted that after Nigeria’s 58 years of existence as an independent nation, she is still struggling to take her place in the comity of nations. While making a formal declaration in Lagos,

the aspirant said he has the mandate of the Nigerian youth to redeem the country from her deplorable and dying condition. “This calls for attention to any reasonable Nigerian to ask what is wrong, that’s why I am here. A lot of youth are supporting me to speak for them, they are already tired with the country”, he said. Collins lamented that Nigeria has lost many years of her existence to nothingness and waste whilst running on an

outdated analogue system of government. “Just go to our hospitals you will see the deplorable condition, which calls for sober reflection on Nigeria’s wellbeing”, he added. He maintained that it was time to rewrite the wrongs in Nigeria and restore power to the youth. He hopes to introduce three important arms that will digitize the country if he gains the chance: the N-card (National card), the NSS (National Security Surveillance) and the Watch Tower Group.

I don’t dwell on success. Maybe that’s one reason I’m successful - Calvin Klein