BY CHRIS ONUOHA
Nestlé Nigeria joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2017 edition of the International Youth Day held on August 17, 2017 by hosting 2 concurrent events at its Lagos Headquarters and Agbara factory complex, to boost entrepreneurship and employability respectively.
In line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, which aims to promote sustainable economic growth, full of productive employment and decent work for all, Nestlé Nigeria has vowed to continue to support young people through youth entrepreneurship, as well as providing training and job opportunities that will enable them make positive contributions towards building peace in the society.
At the Head office, an interactive session that focused on youth entrepreneurship was held with four young Nigerian entrepreneurs making up the panelists who shared their individual success story and how they are contributing positively to the society. They included Tosin Oshinowo, Chief Executive Officer of CDAtelier, the Architect who designed Maryland Mall, Ikeja; Chiamaka Obuekwe, Chief Executive Officer, Social Prefect Tours, one of Africa’s Top 100 Women in Tourism; Oluwaseun Shogbamu, founder, Nation Career Fair and Elijah Eniola, Digital Marketing Executive and Social Entrepreneur.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Nigeria, charged the youths on the need to leverage the myriad opportunities available to them today. He stated that today’s youths are better equipped to make positive impact in the fast-paced world we live in.
He encouraged them to maximize the use of technology and get creative to harness the vast potential in themselves to create value for society.
“You can do so many things today. As I see the great advantages of being a young person today, I also understand the hard challenges of managing so many prospects that no other generation prior to you ever had. Therefore, I think it is a great opportunity to sit together today to discuss how to seize these opportunities to really make a difference,” said Mr. Alarcon.
Speaking further, he added; “You make a difference when you are young. Your potential is there, your dreams are there,” So celebrate the youth, but more importantly, grab that unique chance that you have today.”
Meanwhile, at Agbara Factory complex, there was a simultaneous training programme at the Technical Training Centre meant to develop and train young technicians for the world of work and ‘My Own Business’ (MYOWBU) street-vending programme that is meant to provide young people with skills and expertise they need to run their own micro-enterprises.
Before the coaching sessions, the guest speaker, National coordinator, African Youth Initiative for Crime Prevention, Mr. Chris Ibeh, spoke on the need for the youth to be at the forefront of brokering peace in the society in line with the 2017 theme, ‘Youth Building Peace’. He urged the youth to shun tribalism, offensive religious sentiments, corruption, greed and all other acts that could breach societal peace while charging them to aspire to take up leadership positions.
In his remarks, the Agbara Factory Manager, Mr. Walid Hbaika stressed the need for the youth to take everything they are learning with utmost seriousness, saying it is a turning point in their lives, where they are being sharpened for a world of challenges and opportunities.
Corroborating with Walid, Nestlé Nigeria’s Head of Human Resources Mr. Adesola Akinyosoye encouraged the youth to embrace the key elements of learning agility to enable them succeed in today’s highly competitive environment.
“The present-day world is not driven by mere activity, but by results. Every activity that one engages in must therefore be productive,” he said.
The mentorship segment on career building and development was well received by the youth who expressed their satisfaction with the depth of information shared. The session included practical demonstrations on how to kick-start and develop a successful career, how to create adequate visibility for oneself using online networking sites and a curriculum vitae clinic to expose the interns to the expectations of employers.