Total sponsors 60 SMEs
In their commitment to the Nigerian development project in the areas of education, skill acquisition, enterprise development, human capacity building, Nigerian content and youth development, the oil giants Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNL), has sponsored 60 SME’s through their TOTALPreneur programme.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 60 youths, whom Total sponsored in agriculture and vocational education at the Offer Centre Institute of Agriculture, Osun State, the Managing Director, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria (TUCN), Nicolas Terraz, noted that Total is committed to alleviating poverty and improving lives of Nigerians.
Terraz who was represented by the Executive General Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, TUCN, Vincent Nnadi, said that Total has trained 120 entrepreneurs through the programme, as the first batch of 60 youths graduated last year.
According to him, 30 youths received training in agriculture, while 30 youths received training in vocational education.
His words, “We are happy for the success story of the first batch and that is our driving force for sponsoring the second batch. About 10 per cent of them continued to further their education in agriculture while the remaining 90 per cent engaged positively in their different trades.
We have done impact study on the graduates of the first scheme and we found out that they are really doing well. We are trying to unify them into a kind of entrepreneurship club so that they can continue to benefit from us.”
Terraz, reiterated that the entrepreneurial engagement in agriculture and vocational skills is a deliberate strategic move to develop the youth, fight poverty and eliminate crime.
He maintained that Total have not only invested in training, but have also empowered all the graduating youths by funding their starter packs, a set of start-up tools, equipment and materials.
“We are going to continue to evaluate and see, particularly with these ones that have graduated, we will follow them up with our methods, we will continue to run more of this programme but we will not lose sight of those that have passed out of the programme,” Terraz said.
The Rector, Offer Centre Institute of Agriculture, Rev. Fr. Macarius Olatunji, in his address noted that the 60 graduates were selected from across every state in Nigeria and the their training ran for three months.
Olatunji urged the students not to forget their humble beginnings and not to waste the support from TUPNL that has made a difference in their lives.
“We must not relent on our oars, designed to assist many young minds as possible to rediscover themselves and make meaning out of life,” he said.
Olatunji thanked Total and her partners for their immense support to move the nation forward.
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