Ogun State Government lauds NBC’s effort to tackle Youth unemployment

…Pledges Government Support for the Youth Empowered Initiative

Non-alcoholic beverage giant, Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited has commenced its 2019 series of the ‘Youth Empowered’ initiative aimed at equipping youths with basic life and business skills at a 3-day workshop held in Abeokuta. The initiative which received commendation from the Ogun State Government for tackling youth unemployment in the country, witnessed a large turnout of over 750 registered participants.

In his opening remarks at the 3-day workshop, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Development and Sports, Ogun State who was represented by the Director, Employment Generation of the Ministry, Mr. Abdulhakeem Ashimi described the initiative as highly commendable, well thought-out and complementary to government’s effort in reducing unemployment through its numerous programs for the youth.

“The problem of persistent youth unemployment requires combined efforts of the public and private sectors for any meaningful and sustainable impact to be achieved. We believe government alone should not be left to tackle the issue of unemployment in Nigeria, the private sector has a big role to play,” he said.

Ashimi further commended the effort and commitment of the Nigerian Bottling Company Limited for contributing its quota to reducing the unemployment challenge in the country by equipping the youths with basic life and business skills. “Whatever is being done now is to contribute to the effort of the Government with regards to unemployment, we do not have factories and offices where we can accommodate the army of unemployed youths in the country.  All we can do is to serve as enabler and collaborate with willing partners like NBC so that the unemployment rate can be drastically reduced,” he noted.

Ashimi therefore urged the participants to avail themselves of the unique benefits of the workshop by acquiring the necessary skills that would make them competitive in today’s work environment as well the skills needed to be successful as entrepreneurs.

Speaking on the initiative, the Public Affairs and Communications Director, Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited, Mr. Ekuma Eze described the investment in the Youth Empowered initiative as a clear demonstration of the company’s belief in the Nigerian youths who have over time shown and exhibited a can-do spirit despite the challenges they are faced with.

Eze explained that the initiative was designed to assist the youth to harness their potentials in a manner that would enhance their productivity and make them fit and competitive in the workplace environment.

“With over 750 registered participants, 70 mentors and renowned training facilitators currently at the Abeokuta 3-day workshop, we aim to deliver financial literacy skills, life and business skills for the youths to be better equipped to easily integrate into the corporate world, better manage their finances or transform their dreams and ideas into successful business enterprises. We believe that when we empower one Nigerian youth and this youth goes on to empower another person, then Nigeria will become a better place,” he said.

The event was witnessed by a large host of dignitaries that include government officials, key stakeholders in the education sector in the state, non-governmental organizations, facilitators, mentors, youth leaders amongst others.

L-R: Public Affairs Manager (Lagos/West), Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC), Ifeoma Okoye; Director, Employment Generation, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Abdulhakeem Ashimi; Public Affairs and Communication Director, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, Ekuma Eze; External Communications Manager, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, Olatomiwa Akande and Programme Facilitator, Sam Obafemi during the Nigerian Bottling Company Limited Youth Empowered Workshop held in Abeokuta.

The workshop which is the eight Nigerian edition is part of the Coca-Cola Hellenic global initiative designed to support over 500,000 young unemployed people globally between the ages of 18-30 by 2020, to build life and business skills and long-lasting networks that would translate to meaningful employment and self-sufficiency.

All interested youths can register for the free online version of the program at www.youthempowered.ng

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