By Onozure Dania
WARRI — No fewer than 438 youths of Itsekiri extraction, drawn from the over 20 Itsekiri communities of Chevron Global Memorandum of Understanding, GMoU, under Itsekiri Regional Development Committee, IRDC, are to begin full scale entrepreneurship after successfully undergoing intensive training.
The youths were trained in hair dressing, hotel and catering services, information communication technology, tailoring and fashion design, tinsmith and installation, welding and fabrication, electrical as well as inter-locking stone and kerb and received sewing machines among others.
Chairman of IRDC, Amb. Austine Oniyesan, at the graduation ceremony and presentation of starter packs to the trainees, described the event as first of its kind in the history of IRDC.
Stressing the need for the graduands to continually learn and improve themselves, Oniyesan noted that the current leadership of IRDC would focus its attention on massive job creation in Itsekiri communities under the Chevron GMoU, through mega projects that will be sustainable.
General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, PGPA, Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, Mr. Esimaje Brikinnin, who was represented by Area Manager, PGPA Field Operations, Sam Daibo, expressed delight that Itsekiri RDC was back, vibrant, united and ready to add value to people’s lives in its member communities.
He noted that the success of the capacity building/training programme “reinforces CNL’s belief that the process, that is community-driven, can stimulate quicker community development, than processes and systems designed without effective participation of community members.”
He reiterated that the skills’ acquisition programme, which produced the 438 fresh Itsekiri entrepreneurs, was in line with Target 8 of Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, which states that nations should promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as full and productive employment and decent work for all.
The PGPA boss, who stressed that the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture had spent more than N20.6 billion on about 600 programmes through the GMoU since 2005, enjoined everyone to support Itsekiri RDC to enable it focus on its core duty which is community development.