Youths in Ogoni land are being offered another chance to start their own businesses in the second LiveWIRE programme to be implemented by The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) Operated Joint Venture. This follows the training of 105 Ogoni youths in the first tranche in 2014/2015. Already, more than 100 youths from the four local government areas in Ogoni — Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme — have submitted business ideas for the 2016 edition in response to newspaper advertisements.
“The LiveWIRE programme for Ogoni youths is a targeted initiative and is part of efforts to encourage youths in the area to take up viable and legitimate means of livelihood,” said General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli. “The 2011 UNEP Report on Ogoniland had recommended programmes aimed at supporting youths for alternative means of livelihood so they can stay away from crude oil theft and illegal oil refining activities. We’re happy that the youths are enthusiastic about the opportunities we’re offering them through LiveWIRE.”
The flagship youth enterprise development programme aims to reach young people aged 18-35 to start their own businesses through the provision of training and finance. The three-month training covers welding and fabrication, electrical installation, food preparation and culinary arts, information technology, fashion and beauty care, carpentry and joinery and hairdressing and beauty therapy. The trainees will be provided starter packs at the end of the session to start their own businesses. Equipped with the skills and packs, some 78 graduates of the premier LiveWIRE session have started their own businesses and also created jobs.
Mr. Weli added: “We expect to replicate the same success story in the 2016 LiveWIRE programme, helping youths to create jobs and giving the new employers and employees a new lease of life.”
The LiveWIRE programme was launched in Nigeria in 2003, and has so far trained more than 6,200 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and management.