By Dipo Olowookere
Over 3,000 undergraduates from various tertiary institutions in the country have been empowered on skills acquisition by Fidelity Bank Plc through its youth empowerment programme known as Fidelity Youth Empowerment Academy (FYEA).
Last week, the lender took this initiative to the Sokoto State University (SSU) in Sokoto, where about 200 students of the school were beneficiaries.
At the closing ceremony, MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, urged Nigerian youths to embrace entrepreneurship and create wealth for themselves instead of searching endlessly for non-existing paid jobs.
“The students were drawn from the 5 institutions that have benefitted from the banks youth empowerment initiative that aims to teach vocational and entrepreneurship skills,” Mr Nnamdi, who was represented by the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability at the bank, Mr Chris Nnakwe, said.
He explained that the scheme was designed as part of the bank’s CSR intervention, pointing out that the programme, now in its seventh edition, seeks to empower the Nigerian undergraduate with skills and enterprise training, which are relevant for self-reliance.
He stated that the bank had organised the programme in various institutions of higher learning, including the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Waziri Umar Federal Polytechnic, Birnin-Kebbi; Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State; Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt; Bayero University, Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
For the Sokoto edition, Mr Okonkwo stated that the bank has expanded the scope of the programme in a bid to accommodate new areas of vocational training.
Apart from the typical training on tailoring and make-up, he noted that participants were also provided with requisite skills and first-hand knowledge in fashion designing, cloth embellishment, cocktail and phone engineering among others.
“We in Fidelity Bank have targeted programmes on education, environment and youth empowerment. This one you are witnessing today is part of fulfilling our promises to the society,” he said.
According to him, the youths were trained to acquire skills to enable them to become self-reliant and also make them employers of labours even while in school. He disclosed that at the end of the training, starter packs would be given to each participant to enable him or her to commence business.
Speaking earlier at the opening ceremony, Governor of Sokoto State, Mr Aminu Tambuwal, thanked Fidelity Bank for choosing the school for the programme.
Mr Tambuwal stressed that as a responsible government his administration has prioritised the welfare of the youths in the state. He enjoined the participants to stay focused and concentrate in order to benefit from the training.
In the same vein, the Vice Chancellor, Sokoto State University, Prof. Sani Dangogo, thanked Fidelity Bank for the gesture, saying the training would go a long way in alleviating the financial burden of the students.
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