BY GODDIE OFOSE, Lagos –
It was an unprecedented turnout as youth numbering over 700 actively took part at the ongoing Port Harcourt edition of the ‘Youth Empowered’ Workshop programme organised by Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC). The workshop programme is part of the Coca-Cola Hellenic global initiative designed to support over 500,000 young unemployed people between the ages of 18 to 30 by 2020, to build life and business skills and long-lasting networks that would translate to meaningful employment and self-sufficiency
The three-day workshop, which kicked off on Wednesday and ended Friday, had in attendance, seasoned professionals and youths from different parts of the South-south and South-east region gather to learn from a series of modules, all that is needed to enhance their personal development and self-sustenance.
Speaking at the NBC’s Youth Empowered Workshop, the Legal, Public Affairs and Communication Director, Nigerian Bottling Company, Mrs. Sade Morgan, explained that the huge turnout for the programme demonstrates the willingness and readiness of the youths to learn new skills as well as desire to tap from the depth of knowledge of mentors which the company has come to provide. She noted that the decision to introduce the programme is largely informed by the desire of the company to address a disturbing unemployment statistics in Nigeria which seems to be growing at an alarming rate. “In recent times, it was reported that one out of every four Nigerian youth is unemployed.That is why we have considered it necessary to contribute our quota by creating this programme that would assist them not only to be employable but also create employment. We believe this programme would significantly help to reduce that disturbing statistics.With this kind of programme, participants would have the opportunity to learn business management skills, learn art of negotiation and other skills which would make them competitive and employable in the marketplace.”
She further stated that NBC remains committed to contributing its part to assisting government in resolving unemployment challenge by embarking on several initiatives. She said the programme has been designed to help the youth unearth their potentials while assuring that she was convinced that a new set of leaders and entrepreneurs would be unleashed in the coming years.
Speaking earlier, a representative of the Commissioner for Employment Generation and Empowerment, Mr. Napoleon Akpe, described the initiative as highly encouraging and inspiring. Noting that NBC has succeeded in lending its support to address the growing unemployment problem in Nigeria.
He stated that the foundation laid through the initiative is a clear demonstration of the organisation’s belief, effort and foresight towards preparing the youth not only for leadership or education, but other necessary skills training. ”We know that this programme is bound to improve opportunities for their growth by assisting them to recover hidden talents. We believe this workshop will have direct bearing on the lives of young people particularly as it relates to stemming the tide of social vices and youth restiveness.”
Akpe said the state government was ready and willing to partner with NBC, affirming that anything that concerns remains its priority. On our own as government, we are ready to partner with NBC in all areas that will be beneficial to the youth.”
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