A communications company, the Bridge Concepts Nigeria Limited, has inaugurated a social safety platform that will enable undergraduates and National Youths Service Corps members to cater to the challenging economic realities in the country.
Besides, the platform will enable them to access and share academic ideas with lecturers and researchers from across the nation’s tertiary institutions.
The initiative titled the “Nigerian Students and Youth Corps Discount Card” (The Naija Green Card), according to its initiator, Mr. Bimbo Daramola, is a “unique social protection” programme targeted at the nation’s youth population.
Daramola, who explained the concept to journalists in Lagos on Sunday, noted that the need to provide a social safety net for the vulnerable demography of the population prompted the initiative.
He said, “It is a card system designed as a social safety initiative to allow all enrolled students and corps members to access considerable discounts on the prices of products and services across the country. The card allows its bearer to purchase items and access services at a discount all over the country.”
Daramola, who stated that no fewer than 1,300 business partners had keyed into the initiative, added that it would allow the students the opportunity of increasing their purchasing power and bringing a system of value and saving to them.
He noted, “Nowadays, states and local governments cannot afford to give out student loans, bursaries and scholarships. Parents and sponsors are losing jobs and those still employed are threatened. Yet, they obligated to keep their children and wards in school in a frame of mind that is receptive to learning.
“Some parents are taking job cuts or dealing with the realities of no payment of salaries/allowances in 27 states. In truth, young Nigerians bear the brunt of all of these by their inability to feed well, buy basic things they need; hence, they lose focus and take recourse to deviant tendencies.”
On accessing and sharing academic ideas, Daramola said the company was expanding the scope of the initiative to accommodate online publications that would enable them to achieve greater academic heights.
According to him, already some lecturers have agreed to make available their works so that students outside of their institutions can have access to their publications.