Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications operator, Etisalat, in partnership with O. A. Bella Resources, has empowered 100 individuals with basic life skills and basic equipment to help them maximise their potential through the establishment of startup businesses.
The beneficiaries were pulled from six communities in four states in the South-East and South-South regions. These include Oromeruezimgbu, Rumuokuta and Awalama Communities in Rivers State, Yenizuegene Community in Bayelsa State, Usogun community in Auchi, Edo State and Uburu community in Ebonyi state.
Speaking during the presentation of certificates of participation and starter packs to the beneficiaries, Head, Government and Community Relations, Mohammed Suleh-Yusuf said the Community Skills Set Programme was tailored towards creating entrepreneurs and setting up community-based enterprises in the beneficiary states.
“Etisalat believes in building sustainable societies and empowering communities which is what we are doing with the Community Skills Set Programme. We are complementing the vision of the respective states to empower their youth to become self-reliant and socially responsible entrepreneurs who will in turn set up community-based enterprises,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr. Francis Wokoma whose organisation, E.O. Bella Resources, conducted the training, described the initiative as heart-lifting and a timely intervention that will guarantee a future for the beneficiaries particularly in the face of instability and rising unemployment rate across the country.
One of the beneficiaries, Amaka Amadi from Rumuokuta community in Rivers State also spoke about the impacts of the initiative on her, describing it as an eye-opener.
“I believe in creating useful things my hands and not carrying my certificates about looking for someone to employ me. I do not know how others see opportunities, but when I am given one, I take it a step higher. I have been trained in soap and floor cleaner making, and I will do more research on soap and cream making. I have been given some useful tips which I want to build on, and I am really grateful for that.
Nigeria’s youth unemployment rate is put at 38% according to a recent World Bank statistics. However, there are arguments that the figure realistically is 80% with secondary leavers mostly found among unemployed rural population accounting for about half of this figure while University and Polytechnic graduates make up the population.