By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, yesterday in Abuja presented cheques amounting to N125M to four entrepreneurs and innovators who were adjudged winners of Jaiz Bank’s Covid-19 challenge competition.
The challenge is part of the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility aimed at spurring ideas and innovation on how to curb the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Presenting the cheques to the winners, Pantami urged them to prudently utilize 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. This is not the end of it. You are just beginning. 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. I hope these innovators would use the money judiciously.”
In his remarks, the Managing Director/CEO of Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman, urged the winners to judiciously utilize the funds and ensure that it translates into the fulfilment of their aspirations as social enterprises with optimum impact to the society.
He said the idea was part of the bank’s contribution to equip the nation and encourage innovation.
He said: “We want to assure all that the social entrepreneurship innovation challenge shall be a continuous program by the Bank (In shaa Allah). 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.”
Jaiz Bank’s open innovation challenge was aimed to spur scientists, engineers, developers, inventors and social entrepreneurs to ideate, experiment and build products/solutions to help address the Covid-19 crisis in the country.
At the end of the exercise, NDA Ventilators won N50M; ShapShap won N40M; Reeddi Technologies Nigeria Ltd won N20M; and Data.tac Nigeria Limited, N15M. The prizes were awarded in the form of equity, non-interest financing.