By Our Reporter
VICE PRESIDENT YEMI OSINBAJO, HAS DESCRIBED THE IGBO APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME (IGBA BOI) as “the most popular indigenous Nigerian economic institution, globally recognized as the world’s largest business incubator.”
Osinbajo who spoke at a national summit on ‘Understanding the Apprenticeship Model’ held in Awka, Anambra State, said the scheme had the potential to fast-track Nigeria’s economy.
The Professor of Law who joined the summit virtually, expressed delight that several millionaires had been created by the scheme across Igbo land over the years.
According to The Niche report, Osinbajo said the scheme known as ‘Igba boi’ in the local parlance, “is the quickest route to wealth creation”.
His words: “The scheme has the full potential to do for the Nigerian economy what similar apprenticeship schemes have done in many parts of the world, especially in Germany and India.
“I commend the organizers of the event, and I’m hopeful that the summit will improve the growth and possibilities for the Igbo apprenticeship scheme.”
The Vice President commended the Igbo race for the scheme, and urged others to imbibe the culture.
Similarly, Keynote Speaker, Mazi Obiora Okonkwo, applauded the scheme and recommended that it “be institutionalized”.
He extolled the enterprising spirit of the Igbo race and urged youths to have confidence in themselves irrespective of their backgrounds and challenges.
The philanthropist recalled how as a teenager, he survived through the scheme after the death of his father at the early stage of his life.
“I am sure some of you may have been wondering why I was chosen to deliver the keynote at this event.
” The simple answer is that the apprenticeship scheme and the Onitsha Main Market hold a very special place in my heart as that was where I had my first stint in business.
“My father died when I was 14 years old, forcing me to combine my secondary school education with managing the business and his apprentices.
“That meant I went to school in the morning and continued at the Main Market in the afternoon.
“That basic trading experience, in many respects, helped hone my business instincts and also instilled in me a deep sense of industry and hard work that has defined my life’s journey to date.”
He said that he decided to endow a major research project on the future of Igbo entrepreneurship after he was honoured with the ‘ Philanthropist of the Year Award’ by the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Business School in 2019.
‘ Igba boi’ is a popular practice among the Igbo race where an apprentice serves under the tutelage of the master for a stipulated number of years after which the apprentice is settled by the master for self sustenance.