By Foster Obi
Leading Nigerian Electricity Distribution Company, Ikeja Electric Plc (IE) has partnered with Slot Foundation to train 40 young persons in a skill acquisition and capacity building empowerment scheme, tagged Youth Empowerment Program (YEP).
YEP is one of IE’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives designed to empower youths who are mainly residents of its host communities, to be economically and socially responsible through technical skill acquisition.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony held this morning at the Corporate Headquarters of IE, the Chief Executive Officer Anthony Youdeowei said, the company has demonstrated its commitment to improving the quality of lives of residents of its areas of operation as evidenced by the impact of its personal Corporate Social Responsibility (PCSR) initiatives across its network, since inception.
According to a World Economic Forum report on youth population in 2018, four in every 10 people are aged fewer than 25 and constituting 42 percent of the global population, adding, “Nearly half of the World’s young people live in sub-Saharan Africa.
“So it therefore becomes imperative that young people are empowered to earn a living through entrepreneurship. This effort is also a crucial contribution to poverty reduction which is the whole idea behind Ikeja Electric’s support for this laudable project”, Youdeowei stressed.
He commended Slot Systems Limited for partnering with Ikeja Electric to achieve this milestone initiative. “We are very delighted to have partnered the leading household name in Phone and Computer repairs. We have no doubt that the knowledge that these youth have gained in this program will equip them adequately as they venture into the world of entrepreneurs.
He noted that the YEP Initiative has the potential of integrating the values of a good and productive citizenship in our youths, by motivating them to lead a normal life and by providing them a platform to develop and showcase their skills.
Youdeowei urged the participants to ensure that they make the best use of the opportunity that has been granted them, to achieve self-sufficiency. “For those of you graduating today, you have made the right choice. I congratulate you and urge you all to make good use of this great opportunity given to you to set up your own business and become employers of labour.
The Managing Director of Slot Systems Limited, Mr Nnamdi Ezeigbo, expressed delight at the partnership with IE, which he described as a collaboration of value.
In his words: “The training exercise for me is very impactful. It is the kind of empowerment that the young people should ask from the multi-national companies that are willing to create value for the society; companies that are interested in Corporate Social Responsibilities. “
“We are not just saying that empowerment should be about giving people money. We feel that empowerment should be about skill acquisition. This programme will help young people to become skillful and help them to become employable and most of them might even chose to be self-employed.
The training session which lasted for three months was held at the Slot Academy and participants were selected from across the Ikeja Electric host communities. They were trained in computer, phones and accessories maintenance and repairs, as well as business entrepreneurship ideas web design, hoisting and maintenance.
In recent times, Ikeja Electric has been at the forefront of youth empowerment with focus on improving the lives of customers within its host communities across its six (6) Business Units with empowerment initiatives aimed at contributing to the growth of the society.