The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has presented cheques amounting to N125m to four entrepreneurs and innovators adjudged winners of Jaiz Bank’s COVID-19 challenge competition.
According to a statement issued on Thursday, the competition is part of the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility aimed at spurring ideas and innovation on how to curb the effects of the pandemic.
Presenting the cheques to the winners on Thursday in Abuja, Pantami urged them to prudently utilise the funds to grow their businesses and challenge themselves to more innovations and superior ideas.
He said, “I congratulate all those that participated in the competition. I urge you to be consistent, persevere and steadfast and I am sure that with consistency, we will get another Dangote from the winners of today.
“I commend Jaiz Bank for making this sacrifice by providing this huge money to support the growth of the winners’ concepts. The Federal Government is proud of you.”
In his remarks, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman, also encouraged the winners to judiciously utilise the funds and ensure that it translated into the fulfilment of their aspirations as social enterprises with optimum impact on the society.
He said the idea was part of the bank’s contribution to equip the nation and encourage innovation and added that the social entrepreneurship innovation challenge would be a continuous programme for the bank.
“Our arms are open to entrepreneurs that genuinely want to grow their ideas as long as they have something that can add value to the society. The prize is a package of facility that would ensure we work with them based on our banking model of partnership,” Usman said.
At the end of the competition, NDA Ventilators, ShapShap, Reeddi Technologies Nigeria Ltd and Data.tac Nigeria Limited won N50m, N40m, N20m and N15m respectively. The prizes were awarded in the form of equity, non-interest financing, according to the bank