Ikeja Electric Plc, an electricity distribution company, recently trained and empowered 40 Nigerian youths.
The company’s head of corporate communications, Felix Otulue, who stated this recently while speaking at the Community Vocational Centre, Oshodi, Lagos, said the two-week vocational training provided a platform for the participants to hone their culinary and entrepreneurial skills, with a view to setting up small-scale businesses.
Otulue explained that the initiative was in line with the company‘s personal corporate social responsibilities (PCSR) and it was designed to empower youths with entrepreneurial skills that would help reduce unemployment across the country.
“At lkeja Electric, we are deeply passionate about providing opportunities for Nigerian youths to hone their entrepreneurial skills through various platforms, because we believe that there are millions of youths out there who need the right opportunities and support to develop. That is why we will continually strive to create the avenues for youth empowerment,” he said.
He described the project as one of the ways Ikeja Electric continues to enrich the lives of youths across its network in a bid to help them achieve their dreams and aspirations: “This initiative underscores our determination to enrich lives and contribute to humanity. We will continue to create robust platforms and opportunities to facilitate the dreams of our youths who have ambition to succeed as entrepreneurs, among other things.”
Otulue urged the participants to embrace the training, noting that it would expose them to positive ideas that could transform their lives to become models for other youths to emulate.
Earlier, in his speech, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, who was represented by his special adviser on social development, Mrs. Joyce Onafowokan, appreciated Ikeja Electric for caring enough to empower people in the communities in which it operates. He noted that, beyond the moral bearing of social responsibility of the project, it was the genuine thought of providing skills to the youths in the communities that mattered.
She urged the participants to be responsible and productive citizens of the state. She also charged them to set up their businesses and pay taxes, noting that it was part of social responsibility.
Advising them to make judicious use of the skills acquired at the programme, she said: “To you the recipients of this training, knowledge by itself is not power. It is what you do with the knowledge that you have acquired through this training that determines if it becomes power or not.
“You have been empowered with the knowledge that has been impacted to you. If you do nothing with this new information and the tools that you have received, you will remain economically powerless because you have been trained and you did nothing.
“I want to assure you that the rest of the world is not waiting for anybody to hire them but waiting to own their own businesses. So you need to position yourselves to have a place in years to come. I congratulate all of you for having gone through this training, and I thank Ikeja Electric for putting their money in this project.”
The coordinator for Lagos State Catering and Vocational Training Centres, Mrs. Titi Akoni, said she was impressed that some of the trainees have started making money already with what they have learnt.
“I am impressed at what they have done, they have even gone far to prepare Ofada sauce, which can be packaged and taken to offices to sell. We want to appreciate Ikeja Electric for this wonderful initiative, we promise to make them proud, no excuses. They have given us utensils, and ingredients to start up immediately.”
The participants were also excited as they received their certificates from Ikeja Electric. One of the participants, Ifeoluwa Adebayo, expressed appreciation to Ikeja Electric. She noted that, in just three days, her life has been totally transformed.
According to her, it had been her passion to acquire skills but there was no equipment or cash to start. She added that everything that she needed for the production of her preferred skill, including sealing machines, was provided for her by Ikeja Electric.