Shettima Inaugurates Nigeria Philanthropic Office, Assures 50% Grants For Women

Vice President Kashim Shettima

Vice President Kashim Shettima has inaugurated the first Nigeria Philanthropy Office, NPO, that would collaborate with the International philanthropic organisations to raise $200million for job creation and support for the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs.

The vice president also inaugurated the Local Implementation Committee of the NPO.

The NPO is an initiative driven 100 per cent by the private sector, with full support from the government.

It is part of the efforts by President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government to raise alternative funding for MSMEs and other vital economic programmes through collaboration with the private sector.

The office is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the establishment of 12 industrial value-chain hubs and accelerators for startups and small businesses across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

Mr Shettima assured that the success and positive impact of the newly established NPO was guaranteed under the Tinubu administration.

According to him, President Bola Tinubu has been a firm believer in giving back to society.

”And as such, his enduring spirit of bettering the lot of the citizens is enough guarantee for the NPO to make a huge success and impact.”

In his speech titled, “Philanthropy and Our Shared Responsibilities,” Shettima disclosed that the NPO was set to raise $200 million in grants and non-financial investment through local and international teams to provide support for start-ups in key sectors of the country’s MSMEs space.

”This initiative proposes to raise 200 million dollars in grants and non-financial investment, through local and international teams, to provide support to start-ups in the key sectors within the MSMEs space that drive job creation in Nigeria.”

Mr Shettima stated that President Tinubu’s commitment to philanthropy had always been the mark of his identity.

“Long before stepping into the realm of public service, His Excellency President Bola Tinubu has been a steadfast believer in the ideals of giving back to society.

”This commitment to philanthropy has always defined his identity.

“The Country Chairperson of the National Philanthropic Office (NPO), Mrs. Thelma Ekiyor, can rest assured that this initiative is in secure hands.

”Mr President’s enduring spirit of societal betterment is enough to guarantee its success and impact.’

He acknowledged gaps existing in philanthropy, saying “there’s an unmistakable inadequacy of philanthropy.

”This has led to the establishment of the National Philanthropic Office. Through this office, we aim to rekindle a spirit of support for vulnerable enterprises and ideas that hold the key to our collective progress.

”There is no place in the world where government thrives in isolation, and without collaboration with private individuals and organizations bound by the virtue of empathy, this practice of philanthropy.”

Mr Shettima stated that the NPO was 100 per cent driven by the private sector with government support.

”It thrives on the reality that worldwide, governments are increasingly exploring alternative funding methods for vital projects and economic sectors through collaboration with the private sector.

“The objective is to create twelve industrial value-chain hubs and accelerators nationwide.

”This will focus on digitized shared workspaces, agro-processing, and shared industries. The overarching aim is to generate one million jobs directly and indirectly within the MSME ecosystem.”

He said that eligible MSMEs will receive grants ranging from five million naira to 10 million naira.

The vice president noted that emphasis would be placed on supporting women-led businesses, constituting 50 per cent of the start-ups.

While inaugurating the Local Implementation Committee of the NPO, Mr Shettima implored members of the committee to do their job with a collective vision.

On his part, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State who spoke on behalf of the 36 states governors of the federation, said the initiative would be most beneficial to businesses and individuals across the states.

He expressed the delight of his colleagues and pledged their support.

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, represented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Nebolisa Anako, commended the Vice President for the initiative, and the private sector partners for their commitment.

He noted that it aligns with the goals of the Tinubu’s administration.

For her part, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Aniete, commended all the partners and stakeholders who worked towards actualising the first NPO.

She noted that it will go a long way in impacting lives, livelihoods and the general economy.

Also, the Country Chairperson of the NPO, Thelma Ekiyor-Solanke, said Philanthropy and Impact Investing are two important avenues of supporting MSMEs that can encourage innovation and provide catalytic capital to entrepreneurs.

Members of the Local Implementation Committee chaired by Thelma Ekiyor-Solanke include the Managing Director of Wema Bank, Moruf Oseni and the Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Olasupo Olusi.

Others are the Managing Director of Access Bank, Roosevelt Ogbonna; Chairman, Impact Investors Foundation, Afolabi Oladele, and Founder, Sambo Foundation, Samuel Sambo.

others are the Managing Director, BUA Foundation, Ubon Udoh; Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Felix Ogbe; CEO of Brownvalley Partners, Terlumun Ikya, and Ayodele Olojede from Wema Bank.

While Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, Office of the Vice-President, will serve as Secretary of the committee.