> By ‘SANMI FALOBI <
As part of efforts in creating sustainable livelihood, which is a key pillar of goals to be achieved under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically goal No.1 which aims to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere”, one of Nigeria’s foremost independent vocational, technical and entrepreneurship training institute, the Foundation for Skills Development (FSD) through its Field of Skills and Dreams vocational training centre has partnered with Nagode Industries Limited, to build the capacity of select Nigerians with skills to become self reliant and income generators.
Unveiling the partnership at an induction ceremony for twenty trainees sponsored by Nagode Group at the FSD training centre at Acme Crescent, Agidingbi, Ikeja-Lagos, Executive Director/Founder of FSD, Mrs. Omowale Ogunrinde noted that the impact of the FSD/NAGODE partnership is not just the sponsorship of the trainees for a six-week entrepreneurial and skills empowerment programme but the fact that 20 unemployed citizens have been taken off the streets, which overtime translates to employment of at least 100 more Nigerians when the trainees establish their businesses after acquiring the requisite vocational skills capacity.
“Beyond the numbers, the impact of this partnership is that these trainees shall be getting exceptional training. This six weeks training, partnering with Nagode is to remove twenty people from the streets and train them in hair dressing, fashion designing, catering/cake baking and electrical installation for them to be able to get a job or set up businesses of their own”, she said.
The Nagode Group, whose mission is driven by ‘values that enables their customers to succeed and be a catalyst for empowerment and entrepreneurship’, was recently recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one the 16 fastest global growth companies in Africa. Founded in 1960 but incorporated as an organization in Nigeria in 1988, Nagode Group, as a leading B2B chemical and allied services organization involved in manufacturing, distribution and logistics services has over the years demonstrated commitment and contribution to the growth of the Nigerian Economy.
Giving a goodwill remark at the induction ceremony, Mr. Sandeep Kapoor, Nagode’s Group Chief Operating Officer (GCOO), charged the trainees to see the training as an opportunity to make a living and livelihood for themselves.
“The government and private sector employment have failed the country, so you have to take your lives in your own hands and do what you want to do. The small business industry is now the major employers and you now have an opportunity to learn and earn something for yourself, so don’t let it end here, but take it further”, he said.
Giving insight into why Nagode Industries is partnering FSD on the skills acquisition training, Kapoor said it was a core of the organization’s social obligation to impact society. According to him, the sponsorship of the trainees is the first step of the partnership arrangement with FSD as the organization hopes to have more trainees in batches.
“The contribution for this training is from Nagode Industries through a foundation that was set up with certain amount of profit from the group to do things like this, as well as through health care services. We see a great potential in terms of getting people self sustained and we hope to reach more people as we expand our work. The people being trained today also are able to expand their families’ well being”, he added.
Throwing more light on the guiding values of the Field of Skills and Dreams vocational training centre, Ogunrinde said FSD’s core mandate is to empower people with skills to be self reliant and self sustainable.
“What we have been doing since first of May 2003 when the idea of FSD was birthed is what we are still doing today – empowering people with skills to be able to set up their own business and get jobs in the industry. We are focused on professional skills acquisition. This is not a place you come just to get a rough idea, but a place you come to learn a vocational skill after which you are able to start a business of your own. Our success stories are verifiable, they are real and amazing and to God be the glory, we have been able to have partners that has sent us to take our vocational training to Calabar, Ibadan and Enugu to do the same thing we are doing here – ensuring that the skill is professional enough to bring a change in status and income for people that we have trained”, she explained.
“For this programme, Nagode is sponsoring twenty people and we have other partners sponsoring people like that for different vocational skills training. The most important thing is not about how many people are being sponsored but the fact that for each person that is trained, a soul is taken off the street and being equipped with skills to contribute to society”, she added.
With the sort of commitment to professional entrepreneurial and vocational skills training demonstrated by FSD over the years, it is not in doubt that within the framework of achieving the SDG key target to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” and its associated targets aims, among which are to eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere and reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty; the kind of partnership initiated between Nagode industry and FSD, when replicated by other corporate organizations, institutions, government bureau, corporate businesses and individuals would certainly go a long way in the drive in meeting set targets of the SDGs, particularly SDG target goal no 1 which aims to, “end poverty in all its forms everywhere”.