In a bid to use entrepreneurship to curb political corruption, create room for political transparency and accountability, Neferok Development Initiative, NeDI, a Non-Governmental Organization in collaboration with FRUTZY “N” More has recommended that in school adolescent be groomed for entrepreneurship and leadership roles.
The one day training on entrepreneurship and leadership held recently had over 100 students drawn from Okpare Grammar School and Otu-Jeremi Secondary School in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State. The Organizer, Ayo Okotie stated that the collaboration with the CEO of FRUTZY “N” More, Abuja, Mrs. Anwuli Jowel was borne out of the need to curb political corruption in the society.
Okotie said “Our objective is to use entrepreneurship to curb political corruption in the society. In order to have a very transparent society in the future, where people who emerge as leaders do not see the need to embezzle public funds or be involved in bribery and corrupt practices, we thought it wise to train in school adolescent skills for economic development because research has proven that there is a relationship between leadership and entrepreneurship. Leadership is serving the people while entrepreneurship aid good leadership.
“We want a society where public funds are being fully and effectively utilized for the need of the people because the leaders have their own sources of income from entrepreneurship. Like I told the students, anyone who wants to be a leader or an entrepreneur requires conceptual, technical and social skills must have guts, head and heart to think, innovative, passionate, agile, and good in financial management and record keeping.”
She advised parents to pay close attention to what their children are passionate about early, “encourage and not discourage them from exploring their God given talents. Our organization has a slogan that says ‘catch them young’ we believe in grooming young people because they are the future of any nation so parents should encourage their children from a young age to learn skills that they are passionate about, enroll them to improve on the skill, charge them on the need to be resilient if they must achieve their dreams and prepare them to be ready to face the ups and downs that come with entrepreneurship and leadership roles.”
While addressing the students, guest speaker, Miss Joy Ubogo, an Alumnus of the university of Benin, entrepreneur and person living with disability, stated that having guts and using it is one of the most important mental quality an entrepreneur must possess “an entrepreneur with guts, who knows where he/she is going and decides to put all he/she has into the business, will definitely succeed. The circumstances surrounding your birth, people around you and the society cannot decide your success; it is in your hands to succeed if you believe your tomorrow is great.
“Despite my condition I knew I had a bright future so I started developing my skills at an early age and I think that is one area parents should really focus on. They should take note of what their children like doing well and follow up until they are in full control of the gift. We have seen cases of people studying medicine only to end up as fashion designers they were confused. But with the guidance of the parents the child will grow without any stress into becoming who he/she wants to be in life.”
Speaking on behalf of the teachers of Okpare Grammar School, Adarighofua Esther appealed to government, corporations, organizations and the rich class to organize more trainings and workshop. “If these trainings have started years back, the evil vices of cultism, kidnapping, ritual and Yahoo wouldn’t have eaten deep into the minds of our youths. I was impressed when some of the students stated that they could sew and barber hair professionally.
“I encourage the students to put into practice what they have learnt because it helps. My daughter before she gained admission learnt make up and gele while my son in the secondary school just rounded up a six months class on makeup I paid for the trainings. I do not relent at all if they want to learn any skill, I welcome it, and parents should encourage their children to learn a skill and right early.”
Uwanoghor Elozino Sonia, Consultant/Partner at PWAN Group, Property and Investment Company charged parents to identify the skills of their children and develop it and not be ‘me follow parents’ that want their kids to become something because someone else child has done it and is succeeding, “I want to encourage the students to key into entrepreneurship because there is economic meltdown world wide and everyone needs to have more than one source of income to pull through.
“They should have a mentor they look up to, run to for questions and answers about career decisions, they should be friends with their parents and teachers, be focused, consistent and prayerful. My mother taught me how to sew, by God’s grace there is nothing I can not sew, i teach, make soap and today I am into real estate, no matter your budget I have solution for your housing needs. So it is not too early to start and you will achieve great things when you are indeed focused.” She said.
Gbidi Promise, an SS2 student of Otu-Jeremi secondary school stated that the training programme had made her want to improve on her sewing so she can be a known fashion designer, “I live with a fashion designer and after my house chores in the evenings I learn how to sew. For now my aunt does the cutting while I sew. People usually do not believe that I make my own clothes because they are beautiful. After my WAEC, i Will sign up so I can build on what I have learnt. I want to be known amongst the best fashion designer in the world.”
18year old Odiphri Newton, student of Okpare Grammar School has his elder brother to thank for signing him up in a barber’s shop. “Initially when my brother asked me to learn a skill I was angry because I could no longer spend time with my friends playing but today, they envy me. I make an average of two thousand Naira a day because my Boss asked me to stay back and work with him. Some days we share the proceeds of the day 50/50.”