Shell Assist 30 Bayelsa youths with N12m start-up capital ~ Nigeria News + Celebrities Gist and Naija Gossip + Nigeria Gossip

Friday, 17 November 2017

Shell Assist 30 Bayelsa youths with N12m start-up capital

Fulfilling its social responsibility to the youths in its communities of operation, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has presented  a business support grant of N12 million to 30 participants of its youth entrepreneurship scheme.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony in Yenagoa, Mr Igo Weli, General Manager, SPDC noted that the company had so far empowered 6, 580 youths from the Niger Delta under the ‘LIVEWIRE’ entrepreneurship programme for youths between 18 and 35.
The SPDC General Manager averred that youth within that age bracket if not properly engaged were often susceptible to social vices and criminality, such as attack of oil manifolds, facilities, crude and well head theft.
Weli, who was represented by Mr Kiri Obomanu, Head of GMoU Maturation unit of SPDC, noted that the beneficiaries had undergone training in essential business and entrepreneurship management.
He said that 150 young entrepreneurs participated in the 2017 edition  of the Shell LiveWIRE  programme in the Niger Delta region.
Continuing, he noted that it was a deliberate action programme to mop up idle hands and redirect their God-given energies into productive ventures not just for themselves and families, but to avert attack on national assets in the country.
According to him, the scheme enables young people to start their own businesses and create employment rather than seeking for elusive employment opportunities.
Weli, who noted that in operation there was a thin line between conflict and peace, stressed that when the youths were fully engaged  conflicts would be nipped in the board, and the youths would jettison hostility and become friendly, as well as protect facilities of oil firms.
“It provides budding young entrepreneurs with access to the essential business knowledge and customised support they need to transform their enterprising ideas into a viable and sustainable business.
“LiveWIRE programme is targeted at young people between ages 18-35 to inspire, encourage and support them to start their own businesses or expand existing ones. We do this by providing them requisite training and start up finance.
“It is hoped that with legitimate alternative means of livelihood, our young men and women will turn their backs on vice,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Collins Cocodia, Bayelsa Commissioner for Youths Development, urged SPDC to strengthen its collaboration with the state government on youth’s empowerment.
Cocodia applauded the oil firm for the initiative and urged the beneficiaries to maximise the opportunity by taking their peers off the employment market.
He reiterated the need for them not to trade the opportunity, but to use it to change their fortune and much later become employer of labour, as well as contribute to closing the unemployment gap in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Miss Bertha Erekosima, whose specialty was bags and shoe production, commended SPDC for the scheme and pledged to keep the objectives of the programme and expand their businesses.
Also, Mr Sapele Lawrence, who specialises in fish farming, said that he would deploy the grant to expand his existing farm.
“This grant is a welcome development, I have only one pond and have been yearning to expand my ponds, my dream is to have six ponds and this grant will go a long way and I will have to hire more hands.
“I am also looking at producing fingerlings because here in Bayelsa, we don’t have anyone involved in breeding it. Fish farmers travel to Delta to get fingerings,  so I will further deploy the grant into these areas,” Lawrence said.


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