The Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar, has said the Federal Government will support nine-year-old Nelson Ashinze to realize his potential as a designer.
The minister made the pledge during the presentation of Ashinze’s brand of designs, Nelson George Clothing, in Abuja on Monday. She added that the young entrepreneur needed support to improve his talent.
Mrs Abubakar added that ministry would ensure that Ashinze enjoys the full support of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Bank of Industry (BoI).
According to her, the young entrepreneur’s company has been duly registered, adding that the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) would also assist him when his products are ready for export.
“We are going to make sure that he has the adequate training on entrepreneurship skills, we have BoI that will provide machines, when he is in need of machines, we are going to help him access loan from the bank.
“We are promoting “Made in Nigeria’’ and this is definitely a made in Nigeria initiative; so we are going to use him as one of our champions for the initiative.
“He is also promoting the cotton, textile and garment industries which again we are promoting, so we have a market for him and we are going to give him all the necessary support that he needs to ensure that he runs a successful business in Nigeria,’’ Minister Abubakar said.
Nelson, the young entrepreneur, said that he discovered his talent on bow tie making in school during the craft class, adding that his parent’s support has helped him get this far. His father and manager, Mr David Ashinze, said that the young entrepreneur was known for creative designs of handmade bow ties, pocket squares, headband and accessories with classic touch of African prints.
Mr David Ashinze added that at the age of eight in 2015, Nelson started the Nelson George clothing line where he doubles as designer and CEO.
“Since his debut production, Nelson has been able to put his craft on runway fashion platform,’’Ashinze said.
Also in attendance at the presentation, Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibir, said that Ashinze needed not only the support of his parents, but the government as well.
“I believe that with children like this young boy, there is hope for Nigeria. He is an encouragement to children out there, with what he is doing; the sky is his limit.”
Jibir, however, advised Nelson’s parents not to exploit him, but to encourage him.