ABUJA – Young Nigerians have been charged to channel their potential and energy toward productive ventures that would provide a workable engineering solution to the myriad of challenges confronting the housing sector in the country.

The experts gave the charge at the grand finale of ‘Gem Hunt’ competition organised by the Bilaad Development Trust (BDT) held at Shehu Musa Yar’adua Center on Tuesday in Abuja.

The competition tested the skills and knowledge of contestants as they worked individually and as a group to develop, design, promote and pitch new products which were assigned to them upon registration.

The Gem Hunt category includes; Architect, Brand Creatives, Engineering and Sales Representative. The contestants were tasked to create a design that inspires others to think about luxury in different ways . While those in engineering were tasked to develop innovative engineering solutions that would address cost, environmental, sustainability and disaster management concerns.

Speaking at the event the Chief Operating Officer for Bilaad Realty and Trustee and Board Member in BDT, Sadiq Suleiman Abdullahi said Gem Hunt is an intervention under the entrepreneurship priority of BDT.

In addition to the prizes won, Abdullahi disclosed that the winners and some of the contestants would be given instant employment while others would be recommended for employment.

He therefore charged young Nigerians to take the advantage of the competition and platform to contribute their quota through practical solutions to the problems in the housing sector.
According to him “We have upwards of 60 slots for employment and internship with top tier companies across sectors. So, we will profile everyone who participated in the competition.

“Then based on the requirements of our partner companies, we will recommend people who would be employed. Some would be employed on the spot,” he said.

“The whole idea is to develop and deploy interventions and entrepreneur support , provide strategic linkages and platform to build leaders.”

On his own part the Chairman of the occasion, Arch Usman Manko Babayitso, member of Bilaad Development Trust board charged the winners to contribute in building a Nigeria they would be proud of.

Bilaad Development Trust is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social investment platform that was incorporated by the promoters of Bilaad Realty in collaboration with some development managers.

He said the platform is aimed at developing and deploying interventions in three key areas: education, entrepreneurship and policy and social change advocacy.

He called on other private sectors to join hands toward changing the narratives.

“We are all gathered here today in pursuit of the same objective which is to contribute jointly to building the Nigeria of our dreams. What better way to further this worthy course than engaging our future leaders.”

“It is important, we all embrace the illusive yet undeniable fact that no government, local, sub national or national in any society can address all societal concerns in totality.”

“It is for this reason I accept to join other like minded change agent on board of Bilaad Development Trust to develop and deploy programmes targeted at addressing salient social issues in our beloved country Nigeria”, The Chairman said.

The competition was judged by a panel of industry experts who evaluated each individual and team’s performance based on various criteria, including creativity, innovation, sustainability, technical knowledge, design, and presentation.

The following contestants were announced as the winners of each category . They Mohammed Rabiu ONUCHE: (Architect), Ibrahim ABDULLAHI (Brand Creatives), Nafiu Ismail Olamide (Engineering)
and Ngozi Okocha: (Sales Representative).

The winners were also presented with various prizes, including internship and job opportunities.