Sterling Bank Nigeria and Whitefield Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that is result-oriented and passionate about reducing poverty, has concluded plans to empower about 60000 Nigerian youths and women across four states in the country.
According to the organizers, the programme is to change the narratives of the economy in the post COVID-19 pandemic by promoting decent work and economic growth among indigent communities through the provision of quality education and economically viable skills.
Speaking at the official launch of the portal for the programme titled EQUIP in Lagos, recently, the Head Agriculture Finance and Solid Mynerals, Obikanye Olushola, described the initiative as a game changer in the financing of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
Reacting to questions on why the special interest in the agricultural sector, Olushola said that Sterling Bank funds would target agricultural value chain and activities within the sector.
He noted that they are happy to fund any participants who will pass through the EQUIP programme successfully and, “has given enough conviction that he has built capacity in what he is about to do.
“We understand that grains are the prerogative of our northern region, while tree crops are of the southern region; so what we will do is to identify the activities in the value chain that fits into the tenor of the programme, because we do not have this funds with us forever.”
On her part, the CEO, Whitefield Foundation, Mrs. Olufunmilola Johnson, said anyone seeking to join the programme must apply through the online registration portal on their website.
She maintained that aside from focusing on the agricultural sector, the hybrid programme has been tailor-made to capture some aspects of informal and formal areas that are often neglected by Nigerians.