Nigeria’s oil and gas logistics firm, INTELS Nigeria Limited has graduated 77 women from its Women Empowerment Programme Scheme Synergy (WEPSS).
WEPSS is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme of INTELS established in 2013 with the vision of empowering 5,000 community women over a 20-year period through training in fashion design and tailoring.
To date, more than 700 women drawn from various communities in the Niger Delta region and other parts of the country have been empowered through the project.
INTELS Director, Mr. Silvano Bellinato, who led other top management staff of the company to the graduation ceremony, commended the trainers and trainees for their commitment to the realisation of the vision of the scheme.
Bellinato said INTELS made substantial investment in developing the women empowerment centre, which is equipped with modern specialised machines, cutting edge technology and staffed by well-trained personnel.
He said: “To ensure that participants get the best of training, we built a 5000-square metres garment manufacturing facility at the Federal Lighter Terminal, Onne for the purpose of the WEPSS training. The training facility demonstrates our commitment of giving back to our host community and the larger Nigerian society.”
The INTELS director said WEPSS is run by a team of highly skilled indigenous manpower.
“We have so far produced over 50,000 garments within the WEPSS manufacturing infrastructure. These apparels include shirts, T-shirts, skirts, trousers, jackets, uniforms and coveralls. In line with our commitment to the upliftment of our communities’ socio-economic status and backed by its success over the years, WEPSS has evolved into an intensive tailoring training program for the women,” he said.
The Project Head for WEPSS, Nancy Freeborn, described the just concluded training session as the most outstanding since the inception of the programme.
She said: “Every year, INTELS absorbs a minimum of 200 trainees who undergo an intensive four and a half month training at the end of which they are able to make men’s short sleeve shirt and trouser, women’s blouse and skirt. They are also taught how to use specialized machines and work safely with them.
“This is the first session for 2018; it lasted for four and half months. So far, this is the most outstanding set we have had at WEPSS. They have been amazing.
The best graduating woman, Ogbuenyi Evelyn Okwudili was awarded with start-up kits which include an industrial sewing machine, steam iron, chair, scissors, seam ripper, box of tailors, chalk and a measuring tape.
Expressing her gratitude to INTELS Nigeria Limited, she said: “I was so surprised my name was called up. We were about five trainees who were going for that spot. I am excited and grateful to INTELS and my trainers. I plan to advance my training and then start off sewing on my own.”