Mak­ing en­trepreneurs out of corps mem­bers

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Mau­reen Onochie

Acorps mem­ber serv­ing in Rivers State, Con­fi­dence Onyenze, has nar­rated how she has been liv­ing com­fort­ably on earn­ings from house paint­ing since she learnt the trade dur­ing her ori­en­ta­tion pro­gramme.

Onyenze, a grad­u­ate of Pure and In­dus­trial Chem­istry, Nnamdi Azikiwe Univer­sity, Awka, Anam­bra State said that with her knowl­edge in house-paint­ing, which she learnt to­gether with paint-mak­ing in camp, and how she has since been get­ting jobs, she has grown so much in con­fi­dence that it is, for her, bye to white col­lar jobs.

Dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Na­tional Youth Ser­vice Corps/ Hous­ing De­vel­op­ers In­sti­tute (NYSC/HDI) train­ing for corps mem­bers in Abuja re­cently, Onyenze told her fel­low corps mem­bers that she de­cided to ac­quire skills in paint mak­ing and house paint­ing at the En­tre­pre­neur­ial De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme for corps mem­bers while in ori­en­ta­tion camp. “And to­day, I get con­tracts to pro­duce paints and paint houses,” she re­marked.

She dis­closed that she presently has a con­tract to train some per­son­nel at the in­sti­tute where she is serv­ing, and another to re­paint some ar­eas in the in­sti­tute’s premises.

To but­tress to her mates how lu­cra­tive crafts can be, she said the cost of pro­duc­ing a paint bucket is about N16,000 to N18,000 “and most times, I pro­duce over 30 buck­ets of paint to ex­e­cute a paint­ing job, mak­ing a hand­some profit on ev­ery bucket.”

Another corps mem­ber, Stephen Abal­aka, who is serv­ing in Abia State equipped him­self with plumb­ing skills dur­ing his ori­en­ta­tion stint.

Abal­aka, who stud­ied Sta­tis­tics at the Univer­sity of Jos, boasted that now, most peo­ple within his lo­cal­ity de­pend on him to fix their plumb­ing prob­lems. From these jobs, the corps mem­ber earns ap­pre­cia­ble dues he has found use­ful in tak­ing care of his needs. “Now, I don’t look out for white col­lar jobs any­more as I am now equipped,” he quipped.

At the NYSC/HDI oc­ca­sion, the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Fed­eral Min­istry of Youth De­vel­op­ment, Mrs Rabi Jimeta pointed out that the scarcity of trained youth per­son­nel in crafts and trades like tiling, plas­ter of Paris plas­ter­ing (POP), weld­ing, wall plas­ter­ing, house fit­ting and plumb­ing was a pointer that a lot still needs to be done in the na­tional de­vel­op­ment strat­egy.

Mrs Jimeta ex­plained that the NYSC was part­ner­ing with the HDI on the train­ing scheme to equip more corps mem­bers with the needed knowl­edge to ad­dress both na­tional and per­sonal chal­lenges.

Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of the NYSC, Bri­gadierGen­eral John­son Olawunmi, noted that “the in­au­gu­ra­tion of 200 corps mem­bers for train­ing in spe­cial ar­eas of labour needs in the hous­ing de­vel­op­ment sec­tor reaf­firms our pledge to give use­ful skills to ev­ery will­ing grad­u­ate par­tak­ing in the na­tional ser­vice.”

Brig-Gen Olawunmi said com­ple­men­tary ef­forts are be­ing made by the NYSC Ven­tures Man­age­ment Depart­ment with the pri­vate sec­tor to site a bot­tled wa­ter fac­tory and bak­ery at the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory NYSC camp. “The aim is to equip corps mem­bers with trade and busi­ness skills and at the same time pro­duce bread and hy­gienic wa­ter, which are highly con­sumed dur­ing and af­ter ori­en­ta­tion pe­ri­ods,” he ex­plained.

Di­rec­tor, Skills Ac­qui­si­tion and Entrepreneurship De­vel­op­ment (SAED) of the NYSC, Mrs Mary Dan-Abia dis­closed that eight var­i­ous vo­ca­tions will be taught dur­ing the three-week train­ing pe­riod. The trades are elec­tri­cal in­stal­la­tion, plumb­ing, weld­ing, fab­ri­ca­tion and alu­minium, tiling, paint­ing, plas­ter of Paris, brick­lay­ing/in­ter­lock­ing tiles, and car­pen­try/ join­ery.

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