THISDAY

Sabiman Scheme: GOtv Nigeria’s Panacea to Youth Unemployme­nt

- Olaoluwaki­tan Babatunde Read full article on www.thisdayliv­e.com

During the pandemic last year, a panel led by the Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo on economic sustainabi­lity projected that nearly 40 million Nigerians will be unemployed in 2021. In March, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the unemployme­nt rate in Nigeria increased by 6.2% from the second quarter to the fourth quarter of 2020. This placed Nigeria in the third position on the global list of countries with the highest number of unemployed persons. To anyone, this news is dishearten­ing. More devastatin­g is the fact that the rate of unemployed youths aged 15 to 24 stood at 53.4% in the fourth quarter, while that of youths aged 25 to 34 was 37.2%.

Nigeria’s active population falls between 15 and 64, thus, mostly are youths who are considered to be the future drivers of the economy.

But if the government fails to employ the youths, or provide an enabling environmen­t for businesses, brain drain is imminent as seen in the medical field where the shortage of doctors is crippling the system.

However, the private sector can play a part in ensuring that the rate of unemployme­nt is stunted. This is where GOtv, a digital terrestria­l TV owned by Multi Choice Nigeria comes in.

For five years, GOtv has been creating jobs for hundreds of Nigerians through its Sabiman/ Canvasser Scheme. The scheme provides willing young Nigerians with technical training that enables them to resolve various issues related to the GOtv service. The trained youths offer door-to-door services in their assigned neighbourh­oods. The services include resolving connection issues and assisting subscriber­s to renew their subscripti­on through e-payment platforms.

So far, GOtv has employed over 8,000 youths and invested N162 million in the scheme since it began. These youths come from various parts of the country and with GOtv reaching many households in over 20 cities in Nigeria, the number is bound to increase.

While Sabiman focuses on technical skill acquisitio­n, the GOtv Canvasser scheme provides young people with the basic marketing skills to enable them to make GOtv products more accessible to subscriber­s.

In chats with some of the beneficiar­ies, it was clear that GOtv Nigeria, through its Sabiman and Canvasser initiative­s, has shown its commitment to taking more Nigerians off the unemployme­nt market, enriching them via creative, intellectu­al and resourcefu­l engagement to become better citizens and entreprene­urs who would in turn, contribute positively to society.

For Titilayo Ogunyemi Taiwo, a GOtv Sabiman who joined the programme in 2013, the training taught him everything he needed to be successful. Taiwo who is currently a coach expressed his gratitude to GOtv Nigeria for the opportunit­y to grow and achieve financial stability and also have 25 young people working for him.

“Financiall­y, MultiChoic­e is really trying and I’d be forever grateful to them. The payment is encouragin­g. My team and I have been able to meet all our needs and that of our family” he said.

Oluwagbemi Sunday, a GOtv Canvasser, said that the initiative has renewed his belief that where there is a will, there is a way.

He said, “I have learnt technical skills in installati­on and engineerin­g jobs. I have also improved interperso­nal skills and learnt how to approach people. Being a canvasser involves highlighti­ng the benefits of the products to customers. This also added to my experience. Today, I am earning a stable income. I only became a canvasser two years ago and MultiChoic­e, since then, helped me build experience. Armed with all these, I have been empowered by the idea of establishi­ng my own shops to make more money and also work as a canvasser”.

Apart from the schemes, GOtv also has another social-economic empowermen­t initiative called “Moms and Pops”. The initiative requires a little capital from participan­ts to be GOtv sales agents. What this means is that one doesn’t need to rob a bank to become a GOtv sales agent and make a livelihood from it.

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