By Raheem Akingbolu
In furtherance of its commitment to empowering over 15,000 youths by 2019, the management of the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited has concluded its 3-day workshop in Benin, Edo State where it engaged over a thousand youths in a bid to improve their fortunes and create viable opportunities for growth.
Â The workshop in Benin which was held recently was the second location to be visited this year and the fifth in total since the programme commenced in October last year.
According to a statement signed by the Legal, Public Affairs and Communications Director of the company, Sade Morgan, the event was attended by several notable mentors, youth leaders, non-governmental organisations and government officials.
Delivering the opening remarks for the workshop, the Governor of Edo state, Mr. Godwin Obaseki expressed delight for the youth empowerment programme and advised participants to make best use of the skills which the NBC platform has created, promising that he would not hesitate to support participants with the best ideas with necessary funding.
Â While commending NBC for creating such aÂ laudable platform, Obaseki reassured the company of his administration total support for such laudable idea noting that this would go a long way to complement the administrationâ€™s policies of creating opportunities for youths by acquiring skills that would match with existing job opportunities through the â€˜Edo Jobs portalâ€™.
Â â€œWe are happy for what Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd is doing. I think it is a laudable initiative aimed at addressing the unemployment challenge. I believe if youths that fall within the age range of 20 to 32 years, who make up 65 per cent of Nigeriaâ€™s population are assisted to discover and improve their talent, Nigeria will become better for itâ€ he said.
Â He further noted that as companies help in developing the youthsâ€™ entrepreneurial skills, his administration had set up policies to take full advantage of such skills, and create the atmosphere where the Edo State youths can achieve and attain a better future for themselves.
Â Also speaking during the workshop, the Public Affairs and Country CSR Manager (East/Central), Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd, Mr. Ekuma Eze urged participants to take advantage of the unique opportunity which the initiative has provided by developing brilliant business ideas that would attract funding and create opportunities for business.
Eze expressed the companyâ€™s appreciation to the Edo state government for creating the enabling environment to lend its support to assist the youth in discovering and harnessing their talents, which he notedwould consequently go a long way to tackle the scourge of unemployment in the country.
â€œThe huge turnout for the programme demonstrates the willingness and readiness of the youths to learn new skills as well as their desire to tap from the depth of knowledge of mentors present at the training. This is why we have considered it necessary to take this programme to every part of the country and assist them not only to be employable but also create employmentâ€ he said.