Coca Cola Targets 100,000 Youths for Business, Networking Skills 


Bassey Inyang in Calabar

The Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) Limited, has announced plan to provide training for 100,000 youths by the year 2020 across Nigeria, under its programme, ‘Youth Empowered Nigeria.’

The company which produces the popular soft drink, Coca Cola, said the training for the youths would address the challenges of unemployment.

Speaking at a three-day training session which ended in Calabar, Cross River State recently, the Public Affairs and Communications Director of the NBC, Mr. Ekuma Eze, said: “It is a programme that is developed to support the young people between the ages of 18 and 30 years to build life skills, business skills and long life networks to enable them transit to meaningful employment.”

Eze, said the training session in Calabar, the ninth in the series would involve the training of 500 youths at the first instance.

In his address, the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, who was represented by HRH Etubom  Edem Ita Essien, tasked the participants to  take  advantage of the  opportunity  offered to  them by NBC to imbibe the necessary skills and networks that would enable them become self-employed, and employers of labour in the near future.

The monarch expressed gratitude to the NBC for taking a bold step towards reducing unemployment among the growing youth population in country, especially in Cross River State.

Speaking to journalists at the sidelines of the event, Eze said it was the plan of Coca Cola Hellenic to impact of one million youths by 2025 across the 28 countries where it has operations, with 100,000 of such youths coming from Nigeria which is one of its strongest operational bases.

“Nigeria, being a key market in the Hellenic Group is expected to reach the greatest number of youths by 2020. The program is expected to run through two different but complementary channels: Live training workshops and e-learning modules on the platform of the digital hub. 

“The live training  workshop  comprises  of  a one-day life workshop and three days  Business  skills workshop,  all running at a stretch”, Eze said.

He said one of the key components of the programme was mentorship that would involve the training of the youths by system associates and external resource  persons who possess the  knowledge,  experience  and  passion  for  impacting  young people with skills and positive values.

“The business skills workshop is designed to prepare participants with essential skills for the business environment. Here, participants are expected to acquire skills to approach a business context, acquire basically language and essential knowledge to run own business while, the Digital Hub provides opportunities for participants who are unable to attend the live workshops go through the same experience and training online. “This innovative offering  provides  the  training  curriculum through  e-learning and networking  opportunities,” Eze said.

He disclosed that the NBC has mainstreamed community  Trust into  its corporate  strategy  and  this drives the  business  to invest time, expertise  and resources in locally relevant  initiatives to  facilitate  socio-economic  development of  communities.