The Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC), the bottlers of Coca-Cola soft drinks in the country has said that its Youth Empowered programme has trained 16,000 entrepreneurs.
The company’s Public Affairs and Communications Director, Ekuma Eze, made this known while speaking at a three-day training workshop in Calabar. He said that the soft drinks giant is involved in the initiative because the government alone cannot solve the problem of unemployment.
“The issue of unemployment is not what you can leave in the hands of the government alone. It is virtually not possible anywhere in the world for the government to employ every youth.
“The duty of government is to create enabling environment for private sector to thrive and when the private sector thrives, they can contribute in many ways than one in addressing some of the societal challenges.
“We have reached over 16,000 young people with the skills I have mentioned. We are in Calabar in furtherance of that purpose and to support the government to address the issue of unemployment and of course underemployment.
The Calabar programme will train 500 youths in business and life skills.
“This is our own modest way of contributing to the Nigerian youths because we believe in them. If the Nigerian youths were given the space and the opportunity their peers outside this country enjoy, they could also be globally competitive.
“The idea behind this is bridge the gap in terms of the skills they did not acquire while in school,” he said.
“What we are doing here is called Youth Empowered Nigeria. It is part of our global initiative to empower youths between the ages of 18 and 30. The training started in October, 2017.”
Speaking further, he said our educational system has not been fine-tuned to take care of current realities in the workplace.
“Unfortunately our educational system has not been fine-tuned to address the current realities in the workplace. You have a situation where you have vacancies and you bring in a whole number of these young graduates and the skills that are required in the workplace they don’t have it.”
He said that the company would assist in incorporating a company and provide initial funding for any group that produces the best bankable business idea.
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