By VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
…To generate 100,000 jobs in 24 months
EARTHOLEUM Networks, a firm involved in mobile banking services among others, is partnering the National Directorate of Employment, NDE to create not less than 100,000 jobs in the next 24 months.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Eartholeum Networks, which is also a transaction Business Solutions, Communication Technology and Enterprise Business Solutions, Mr. Adebola Oluwaseun Adeyinka, announced this while taking the management of NDE round its facilities in Lekki, Lagos ahead of the commencement of the mobile banking business code-named “Qik, Qik Project”
According to him: “We are partnering NDE because we recognise that the cardinal mandate of the agency is to generate employment. One of the critical components of our business is to have a large footprint across the country to support the delivery of the services we will be rendering to the public.
To make this happen, there is a need to have people who will play the role of agents delivering both financial and other services to people within their own neighbourhood. For this reason, within the ambit, we will be employing at least, a minimum of 100,000 agents across Nigeria over the next 24 months. The agency we know that has the capability to provide the pool of people who are in need of jobs is the National Directorate of Employment.
Thousands of young Nigerians troop to the offices of NDE across Nigeria seeking for employment opportunities. So, what we are providing is a platform for such people to be employed. We are not just talking about one hundred thousand jobs; we are talking of 100,000 owned small businesses.
We know that it is small businesses that drive any economy. That will definitely have a multiplier effect on other sectors. Plus the fact that it is going to the grassroots where poverty needs to be alleviated, that is where these jobs are to be created.
“There is going to be a lot of training. The business is IT, Telecommunication cum financial services. People will definitely be better, they will be advanced in terms of know how, in terms of being integrated into formal financial sector, there will be records of it and the identity crisis that has plagued the country for so long will now be sorted out.
There are various areas that this project is going to impact. It is going to have overall expansion effect. It will have positive impact on the economy and as we gain momentum, you will find out that we are going to do much more than the 100,000 jobs because the goal of NDE in this project is that as people pay up (loan), a fresh set of people are going to be empowered.
So, it is going to keep on expanding and I think it is impossible to quantify what the value of the training and education will bring to people and even the enlightening that the rural people and others that are going to use the services. It is also going to shift the culture of the people to also embrace technology at the grassroots. Globally, Nigeria is at the forefront in terms of GSM telephony adoption.
It is actually the fastest growing in the world in terms of adoption of GSM telephony. This will also help people to drive their consciousness into the benefits and impact of information technology on life and culture of people. The impact of this project is going to be huge and immense to the country.”
Speaking on how the employees will be selected, Director_General of NDE, Mallam Abubakar Mohammed, said NDE would be involved in both training and selection of beneficiaries, (agents).
The D-G who was represented by NDE’s Director (Special Project), Mr. Kunle Obayan,, Mallam Abubakar said: “We will handle the selection of the agents (employees). We know the kind of beneficiaries that we are going to push to them for the pilot scheme. We are doing that already.
The selection process is fairly rigorous. At the end of the training, they are going to be re_settled and we expect them to pay. It is like a loan which they will pay back over a period of the time. The payment process is automatic because they are making money from the scheme.
As they are making money, a percentage of the money will go towards the repayment of the loan. We will also give the beneficiaries the business training as well. They are going to pass through our SYOB (Start Your Own Business), programme.
They must be graduates of SYOB programme and from there, we will select them based on their interest to go into this “Qik, Qik Project.” It is a partnership that we have already mapped out who is going to do what.”