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Shell empowers 105 Ogoni youths with N21m

Published by Tribune on Thu, 12 Feb 2015


Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has donated N21 million to 105 youths from communities in Ogoniland in Rivers State, having successfully completed a three-month 'LifeWIRE' entrepreneur training programme.Over the years, the programme had undergone improvement, with the introduction of an incubation centre to support the establishment and growth of new businesses mentored by successful entrepreneurs, an alumni network and Shell supplier opportunities.Country Chairman and Managing Director of SPDC Nigeria Ltd., Mr Mutiu Sunmonu, presented cheques and starter packs to the graduands in Bori, Khana Local Government Area.He said it was another milestone by the oil company to further impact meaningfully on the lives of the grassroots people in their business communities.'It is, indeed, a remarkable day for the 105 trainees, who are graduating today, after three months of intensive training in various skills on the Shell LifeWIRE programme.'We are happy about the successful completion of the LifeWIRE training programme and are pleased to see this group of young entrepreneurs start off businesses that will contribute to the economic development of their communities.'As a further demonstration of our commitment to the LifeWIRE programme, SPDCJV has retained the service of competent local consultants to mentor our young entrepreneurs for one year following today's graduation.'Each graduate will also receive from SPDCJV the first tranche of the start-up grant and some materials and equipment to assist them in establishing their businesses.'LifeWIRE Nigeria is our flagship programme for youth enterprise development intervention in Nigeria and has won several awards locally and internationally' he said.In his remarks, the paramount ruler of Tai, and Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Majesty Godwin Gininwa, thanked Shell for initiating the programme, which he said, was targeted at improving the socio-economic status of Ogoni youths.He, however, admonished the benefiting youths to make good use of the opportunity given them through the LifeWIRE programme.Represented by the Secretary of the Ogoni Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers, Chief Sunday Tane, the traditional ruler said: 'I was impressed with the way you comported yourselves during the training.'We want to task you that the starter packs that have been given to you today are not for you to sell because of some certain needs. If we discover that you sold any of these amenities without making use of them, you will be sanctioned.'He admonished the beneficiaries to be good managers of their businesses so as to serve as a chain for employing other youths in the community and appealed to Shell to continue with the programme so that some other Ogoni youths can benefit.In his goodwill message, the Executive Director, Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), Mr Noble Pepple, expressed happiness over the opportunity given the agency to be part of the LifeWIRE programme, which he said, was aimed at youth empowerment and economic development.Represented by the General Manager, Business Development and Job Creation, Mrs Blessing Daniel-Kalio, he said: 'We are happy at RSSDA because what is happening here is what we are mandated to do. We thank the SPDC for believing in our capacity.'I believe that this particular set of trainees is going to be different from the ones you have trained before because they are exposed to international best practices.'The 105 beneficiaries were trained in several skills acquisition programmes, including beauty therapy, welding, carpentery, catering, electricals and basic fashion.Starter packs such as welding machines, sewing machines, hair dryers, kitchen equipment and N21 million cheque were presented to the graduands.
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