Making entrepreneurs out of corps members
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.