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UN Expert Urges Nigerian Youths to Embrace Vocational Skills

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UN Expert Urges Nigerian Youths to Embrace Vocational Skills

By Dipo Olowookere

Youths in Nigeria have been urged to think towards adding vocational skills to formal education in order to be marketable, employable and economically sustainable for a secured future.

This charge was given by the National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Nigeria, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, while speaking at the 2017 World Youth Skills Day observance organised last Friday by Yes-I-Believe Academy (YIBA) in collaboration with UNIC.

He expressed concern at the high number of unemployed youth, explaining that education and training were key determinants of success in the labour market.

Skills and jobs for youth feature prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.4 calls for a substantial increase in the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills.

On December 18, 2014, the UN General Assembly designated July 15 as World Youth Skills Day. The theme for this year’s observance was ‘Skills for the Future of Work.’

The National Information Officer noted that “Everyone has inborn skills. No one is empty and useless. Identify your passion, your skill area and seek help to develop it and be a master of your future. Your future lies in your hands. Acquire a skill today.”

Explaining the reason for youth unemployment, the National Information Officer explained, “One reason for youth unemployment is structural unemployment, a mismatch between the skills that workers in the economy can offer and the skills demanded of workers by employers.

“Structural unemployment affects all regions around the world and it impacts not only economies but also hampers the transition to equitable and inclusive societies envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Also speaking at the event, Mrs Nneoma Effanga, a makeup expert, urged the youths to shun idleness and develop their talents which might not be related to their course of studies. Such a step, she said, might be that which would secure their future.

Stressing the importance of skills acquisition, President of YIBA, Mr Niyi Adekunle, declared that no vocational skill is demeaning. He urged the participants who were mainly students of Yaba College of Technology, not to treat vocational skills training with contempt as it might be a saving grace for some even after their graduation from other fields.

The programme also featured exhibition of vocational skills products and some practical sessions featuring wire-works, shoes, make-up kits and application, art-works and soft-furniture among others.

Facilitators of the practical session included Mr Akinwande Ademosu (Motivational Speaker); Mrs Oreoluwa Solana (Crystal Design); Mr Gbenga Ogundimu (Shoe Maker); Mrs Oyebola Jennifer (Art work), Ms Opeyemi Olowoporoku (Beads Making) and Mrs Busola Oluwatimileyin (Interior Design).

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Jobs/Appointments

JTI Nigeria Remains Top Employer for 4th Consecutive Year

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Top Employer in Nigeria JTI Nigeria

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

For the fourth consecutive year, the Nigerian subsidiary of Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Habanera Limited, has been recognised as a Top Employer, while the parent firm retained its position for the 9th consecutive year.

This latest certification recognises the excellent working condition provided at the organisation as excelling in each of the assessment categories, which included outstanding HR policies and practices, employee well-being, diversity and inclusion and exceptional learning and development opportunities.

Speaking on this year’s recognition as a Top Employer in Nigeria, the General Manager of JTI’s entity in Nigeria, Mr Thomas Adams, said, “We are extremely delighted to be recertified by Top Employer Institute as a Top Employer both in Nigeria and globally. This award is a confirmation of the efficiency of our people policies, which continue to create an optimal environment for our talents to grow, thrive and fulfil their potential.”

Mr Adams further stated that, “At JTI, investment in our people is at the heart of everything we do. From the provision of equal opportunities, an open environment, and development programmes to general employee well-being initiatives, we continue to offer the right resources for our people to attain their personal and career aspirations.

“This latest award will push us to continue prioritising our people by keeping them safe, engaged and inspired towards ensuring JTI remains a great place to work for our valued talents and an attractive destination for future talents.”

The Top Employer certification is awarded by the Top Employers Institute, which conducts an annual international audit of leading employers around the world.

The research firm assesses participating companies in nine key areas: talent strategy, workforce planning, on-boarding, learning and development, performance management, and leadership development.

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Puchercos Retires as Dangote Cement CEO, Pathak Takes Over

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Michel Puchercos

By Dipo Olowookere

Mr Michel Puchercos will, on February 28, 2023, retire as the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Cement Plc, a statement from the company has disclosed.

From March 1, 2023, Mr Arvind Pathak will take control of the position following his approval by the board of the cement manufacturing firm.

Mr Puchercos stunned the cement industry three years ago when he resigned from a rival organisation, Lafarge Africa Plc, to take charge of Dangote Cement.

But after three years of piloting the affairs of Dangote Cement and repositioning it for greatness, he is bowing out in style and handing over the baton to Mr Pathak.

In a statement issued to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Thursday, the company thanked Mr Puchercos “for his commitment and contributions to the board and [wished] him well in his future endeavours.”

In the statement signed by the acting company secretary, Mr Edward Imoedemhe, Dangote Cement described Mr Pathak as “an experienced business leader who worked as MD and CEO of Birla Corporation Ltd before this appointment.”

Also, he was the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc until 2021.

With over 30 years of experience in the cement industry, he has worked most of his tenure in turning around businesses, operations and maintenance of plants, as well as leading important greenfield projects.

The leading cement firm noted that the appointment of Mr Pathak would be included in the agenda at the next Annual General Meeting for ratification by the shareholders in accordance with the Companies and

Allied Matters Act.

While welcoming Mr Pathak back to the Dangote family, the board of the organisation wished him “success in his new role.”

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Seyi Layade Joins Insight Publicis Management Team

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Seyi Layade

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The management team of Insight Publicis has been strengthened with the addition of Ms Seyi Layade as the new Account Management Director.

A statement from the firm, which is a member of West Africa’s largest integrated marketing communications group, Redefini, and global Publicis Groupe, it was stated that she would be expected to use her wealth of experience to take the organisation into a greater height.

Before joining Insight Publicis, the appointee served as the Group Operations Manager for SPV Communications of the Omnicom Group and then, as Group Head, Innovation and Client Service at Ogilvy Nigeria, leading such brands as Coca-Cola, Airtel, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PZ Cussons, Unified Payments and Mondelez International (Cadbury Nigeria), as well as MTN Nigeria.

Ms Layade is an advocate for collaboration and innovation for business growth.

At SPV Communications, she directed a first-of-a-kind business model, championing collaboration for the delivery of many exciting campaigns associated with the MTN brand in Nigeria. Thereafter, her innovation led to the expansion of the previously core-creative Ogilvy Nigeria business into activations and PR.

In her new role, Ms Layade will bring to bear her experience in the dynamic marketing communications industry. With more than 12 years in brand management, business development, and marketing strategy, she will be responsible for consolidating Insight Publicis’ quality service commitments to its diverse clientele, as well as leading the execution of the company’s strategic priorities.

Commenting on the appointment, the Group CEO of Redefini, Mr Tayo Oyedeji, expressed confidence in having Ms Layade on board.

“The management team is pleased to welcome Seyi to Insight Publicis. She represents a set of values that we hold dearly as a company. Her experience and expertise are a veritable asset for the course we continue to chart,” he said of the graduate of Banking and Finance from the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.

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