The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd and its bottling partner, Nigeria Bottling Company has signed a partnership agreement to empower 1,000 women in Lagos State. Through this partnership framework, anchored on CocaCola’s 5by20 Programme, the selected women will receive training in financial literacy and business skills as well as start-up capital to integrate them into the Coca-Cola value chain as retailers of the company’s beverage products. Speaking during the MoU
signing ceremony, yesterday, the executive secretary LSETF, Akintunde Oyebode, said the partnership with a company such as Coca-Cola assures the organisation that it was working in the right direction. He said: “We understand that to empower a woman, is to empower a whole generation. We will continue to provide accessible and affordable credit to support women as they seek to start or expand their businesses; because when we do, we create wealth and employment that alleviates poverty.” In his remarks, the managing director of Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr Bhupendra Suri, reiterated the company’s commitment saying, “Now more than ever, we are certain of our commitment to the well-being of our communities, a critical part of which are our women.” He further stated that realising the vision of economic empowerment of 5 million women by 2020 depends on building scalable models and powerful partnerships, across business, civil society and government, which is vital to maximizing the impact of their programmes and making them more sustainable.