JAN Partners Sasol Energy to Empower Out-of-School Lagos Youths

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Peter Uzoho, Mabel Benson and Blessing Alaku

As part of its efforts to support helpless youths to become business owners and self-sustaining, Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) in partnership with Sasol Energy is empowering 300 out-of-school youths in Lagos through its programme, ‘Immersion Training Strategy: Targeting Young Marginalised Entrepreneurs (JA ITS TYME).

The programme structured to last for a period of one year, seeks to provide basic business education to selected youths in various entrepreneurial fields through a variety of hands-on activities.

According to the organisation, during the programme, participants will have the liberty to select any skill from a wide range of options provided by the Lagos State Skills Acquisition Centre, Mushin. Some of the programmes include catering, barbing, hairdressing, fashion designing, shoe making, bead making, and exclusively f or persons confirmed as resident of Lagos State.

Speaking at the launch of the programme recently in Lagos, Programme Director, Junior Achievement Nigeria, Ms Ade Sofolu, said the organisation was excited to partner with Sasol to help develop the entrepreneurial skills of young people in Lagos through the programe.
According to her, Nigeria faces the challenge of economic development occurring on the macro level in gross domestic product (GDP) figures, stressing that that does not translate to the micro level in reduction of poverty and better economic reality for her citizens.
“With this programme, we have created a tripod of support between Lagos State Government who have identified the young people that will benefit from the program; Sasol who has kindly funded and supported the delivery of the programme, and we at JAN that will deliver our innovative JA ITS TYME training to the young people,” Sofolu said.

Commenting on the partnership, Country Manager, Sasol Energy, Mr. Mlandzem Boyce, said the company was always eager to collaborate with key foundations like Junior Achievement Nigeria, who according to him, are making a difference by helping to empower members of their host

communities. He noted that the goal of the company was to help young people to get skills and be able to fend for themselves.
“Our target is to see all the 300 students that are in the programme graduate with something on their hand and to see them become useful to themselves and to the country at large. That to us is our mileage, and that is the goal of Sasol,” Boyce said.

He explained that entrepreneurship was a big part of the Nigerian system and something that was growing, adding that the company would always support through funding or other means to help develop the entrepreneurial skills of young Nigerian.

“We want to also impart the most important and critical part of the community which is the socio-economic part and bringing these skills means that if the company cannot appoint someone, it can do something in the community to ensure that the socio-economic part of the society is improved,” he added.