Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Total Exploration & Production (E&P) Nigeria Ltd, has graduated 25 entrepreneurs as part of its efforts to fight against poverty and unemployment, through capacity building as a way of transforming society and providing employment opportunities for the youths.
The Executive General Manager, CSR, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Vincent Nnadi, while speaking at the graduation Ceremony of the Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition for Youth (ESAY) Programme in Abuja, said that Total has been at the forefront of the fight against poverty and unemployment.
According to him, “We do this (fight poverty) through Human, Social and Economic development program. We emphasise capacity building as a way of transforming society and providing employment opportunities for the youths. The era of white collar jobs is gone, and it has become increasingly necessary to move from seeking office work to gainful self-employment in our chosen vocations.”
He noted that Total believed that this approach is sustainable and geared towards reducing unemployment in the shortest possible time, especially by partnering with non governmental organisations and other specialised agencies in the realisation of its CSR objectives.
Nnadi stressed that Total collaborated with Toncia Consulting and Energy Services to organise this youth empowerment program targeted at indigenes of the Middle-Belt region as part of a bigger program implemented in other regions of Nigeria.
“Today, we are graduating 25 entrepreneurs who have undergone livelihood skills training in paint manufacturing, inverter and solar systems production and installation. Some have also been trained in Computer hardware installation.”
He urged the beneficiaries to utilise the opportunity afforded them in becoming active agents of wealth creation within your community.
“Be rest assured that Total shall be monitoring your progress as entrepreneurs through regular visits to your places of business. The impact assessment and evaluation will enable us do more and replicate successful outcomes in other communities,” Nnadi said.
On his part, the CEO of Toncia Energy Consulting, Prof. Godwin Chukwu, said the capacity building programme was meant for young Nigerians who have completed their tertiary education and are venturing into entrepreneurship.
He stated: “This is the second in the series that is being sponsored by Total E&P. It is a selection of 25 young graduates from the Middle-Belt region. The first in sequence was for FCT graduates. We are training them in the area of three skills: Paint manufacturing, Inverter/Solar production and Computer hardware repairs.
“Twenty five of them have acquired the skills to start on their own and Total is providing the starter pack. We have provided them with the hook, we have shown them the water and they have to go and fish. We need to monitor them kin what they do for the first six months and we will send a report to Total.
“By empowering them we are creating jobs in multiplying effect. Rome was not built in a day, we don’t expect them to fly into glory tomorrow but we expect them to move towards glory and we are here to do whatever we can to ensure that they movie to glory as early as possible.
“It is a three year contract with Total, this is the second, we don’t know what happens after then but we are hoping that other agencies will joint. We produced 25 youth from a particular catchment every year. We have not trained 47,” Chukwu said.