By Adejumoke Alebiosu
Samuel Lawal, (middle), winner of the grant, poses with organisers of the Access Bank Business Proposal Pitch Contest
Samuel Lawal, a Batch B, Stream 2 Corps Member serving in Enugu State, has won the one million naira grand prize of the Access Bank Business Proposal Pitch Contest called the Lion’s Den.
The contest, which saw an initial 30-member participant cut down to ten, then five finalists, was held at the Multipurpose Hall of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Permanent Orientation Camp in Agwu, Enugu State.
Lawal’s business proposal is to build a voice-controlled solar-powered wheel chair to assist persons living with disability, especially those without legs and arms and vice versa or both.
Lawal explained that the proposed innovation is the product of his undergraduate project which he developed alongside three students of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM) with the mentorship of a UK-based Nigerian.
The Corps Member further noted that the business was inspired by the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act (2018) signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Lawal who came first was given a cash prize of one million naira; the second position pocketed seven hundred thousand naira, while the third position went home with four hundred thousand naira. Others are forth position with two hundred and fifty thousand naira, the fifth position with one hundred and fifty thousand naira.
From sixth to ninth position received consolation prizes of one hundred thousand naira each while one contestant was disqualified.
The Group Head, Retail Banking Division South East, Access Bank Charles Oguibe kick started the competition and laid out the vision of Access Bank for establishing the NYSC Business Plan Competition. He encouraged other corps members who couldn’t participate in the competition to make use of the various funding options to realise their entrepreneurship dream.
Mr Ujogu Sam, State Coordinator NYSC Enugu State and Mrs Ekwe Chinyere from NDHQ who represented the Director SAED as well as key camp officials were present at the event.