The Bank of Industry (BOI) has organized a six-day workshop in Lagos as part of its intervention programme to help grow the agricultural sector, reduce youths unemployment and to promote small and medium enterprises.
The focus of the intervention programme is training of youths on packaging and processing of tomato being produced in the country, as part of its contribution to diversifying the economy from oil revenue.
The programme is sponsored by the bank with supports from Betamark Production Company, National Agency for Foods and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Mile 12 market leaders and farmers associations in the north.
The event took place at Lagos state Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), at the Central Business District, Alausa in Ikeja, Lagos.
Participants at the maiden edition of the workshop were taught on how to stop waste, process and preserve tomato, when it is available in large quantity for a minimum of one year,
BOI regional head, Lagos, Mr. Adetokunbo Akinsola in an interview with Rockcity FM, said in Nigeria a lot of tomatoes are being lost due to lack of preservation.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Industry has also promised entrepreneurship development training and financial supports for any of the participants in the workshop who show interest in the tomatoes paste packaging business
Head of the bank’s SME funds, Mr. Michael Oye, told Rockcity FM that successful and certified participants in the workshop will be trained on how to access, apply and fill the forms for BOI loans and how to develop bankable business plan.
According to Oye, the challenge of organizing the workshop has been the availability of bankable business plans and the space to accommodate participants, which he hopes will be addressed as soon as possible.
He explained that organizing the workshop which just ended has been challenging because over 13,400 youths applied for the available 1,000 slots for the first set of training.
The Kano edition of the workshop was held early this month, and will be extended to other parts of the federation.