The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) on Monday said 50 students from 108 schools across Nigeria would be selected for the National School Entrepreneurship Programme (N-SEP).
The SMEDAN Director-General, Alhaji Dikko Radda, disclosed this in Katsina at the opening ceremony of the training of both primary and secondary school teachers on the programme.
Radda, represented by Mr Suleiman Tanimu, a SMEDAN Deputy Director, said the programme was being organised by the agency in collaboration with Students for Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE), U.S.
He said that the schools targeted for the pilot phase of the programme with the theme: “Mind Shift Entrepreneurship’’ are from Katsina, Bauchi, Kwara, Ondo, Ebonyi and Cross Rivers States.
“Eighteen schools will be selected from each state, nine primary and nine secondary schools.
“Among these nine schools, seven will be public schools, while the remaining two will be private.
“Fifty students are expected to benefit from the programme from each school,’’ the SMEDAN director-general said.
He said that the programme was aimed at providing access to functional entrepreneurship among students to eliminate unemployment among youths in the country.
“We want to involve students at lower levels so that after graduation, they will not only become self-reliant but employers of labour.
“Primary school pupils and secondary schools students are our targets, we want to catch them young,’’ Radda said.
The director-general disclosed that the students would be taught how to set up businesses of their own after which they would come up with an idea to develop a business of their choice.
He said that there would be a national competition, where the best students would be selected to represent the country at an international competition.
The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Halimatu Idris said that the state government had spent a lot of money on skills acquisition programmes to make youths self-reliant.
The commissioner, who was represented by Alhaji Tanimu Zubairu, urged participants to pay attention on the programmme and prepare to teach others what they learned.