NNPC, Total empower youths through entrepreneurial support programme
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) has empowered 25 youths in their Fashion Industry Entrepreneurial Support Programme (FIESP).
According to the facilitators, the programme put in place to build capacity and to create employment for the youth was a demonstration of their commitment to socio-economic development of Nigerians.
In his address at the occasion of the graduation ceremony of the first batch of beneficiaries of the programme recently in Lagos, the Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water District, TUPNI, Ahmadu Musa Kida, represented by the Executive General Manager, Cooperate Social Responsibility, TUPNI, Vincent Nnadi said that the programme was to promote businesses.
He said, “Fashion is a business that is employing a lot of people today and what we are promoting here today is not fashion but business. Our expectation is that these entrepreneurs will become established businesses and become employers themselves, such that would remove people from the streets.
“This was part of TUPNI’s cooperate social responsibility and we are fully committed to giving back to the Nigerian environment where we operate. As part of our sustainable development initiatives, we annually offer graduate and post-graduate Scholarships to eligible students from all over Nigeria.
“This was the first time we were doing fashion. As a pilot, from what we’ve seen already and depending on the success, there is an indication that it’s something that we may continue.
“We’ve set up a different department for business development to support these people who are trained, through serious monitoring, encourage them and probably do more training for them on business skills.
“We discovered that most of the businesses that failed were probably because they do not know how to invest in their businesses and possibly lacked financial support for them to grow. We are putting in a different machinery to help support them to grow and survive.”
Kida maintained that unemployment particularly amongst our youth was a major problem in the country and has brought the attendant increase in crime rate and insecurity in the country. He stressed TUPNI’s belief of human and economic empowerment as the bedrock of a strong, virile and crime free nation.
“TUPNI with her partners discovered that the Fashion Industry has a huge capacity of mitigating the unemployment trends in the country if properly harnessed and decided to invest in the lives of our youth by initiating this program for which we celebrate the pilot today,” he added.
The Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), represented by the Supervisor, Production Sharing Contracts Public Affairs, NAPIMS NNPC, Helen Nkwo, also noted that he was overwhelmed by the huge success achieved through FIESP in a short space of three months.
He reiterated that the programme was a step in the right direction when the issue of empowerment is talked about.
His words, “In the oil and gas industry especially the upstream sector where we work, we have different arrangements and what you saw here today was what we called the production sharing contact where NNPC funds totally all of the investments.
“Working with our contractor Total, we’ve been able to deploy this initiative. Our role was making sure that we in partnership with the operators identify worthy initiatives and we fund it. This is work in progress and what we are trying to do is to see how far this goes and what else we can add to it.”
Starter packs of sewing machines and industrial electronic irons were given to the trained entrepreneurs to startup businesses.