Among the resources Nigeria is blessed with, is her population, which is the largest in Africa. According to World Population Review, the country’s population currently stands at 218,753,000.This statistic leads to another mind-blowing revelation that Nigeria has the largest youth population in the world, with a median age of 18.1 years. It is said that about 70% of the country’s population are under 30, and 42% are under the age of 15.
Optimizing these growing numbers for economic development has been the focal point of Nigerian Breweries Plc. The company, riding on its glowing heritage of over seven decades of brewing operations in Nigeria, has continued to strengthen its corporate social responsibility in many ways, one of them is the Women and Youth Empowerment Programme aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and empowerment opportunities across the country.
The programme which empowers youth and women in the host communities of Nigerian Breweries Plc is tied to one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that speaks to the provision of decent work and economic growth. Now in its fourth edition, the three-month skills acquisition programme which began as a pilot scheme with 105 beneficiaries in 2019 has empowered a total of 872 women and youth drawn from 7 states (Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna and Abia) and the FCT.
It is heartwarming to say that the ultimate idea of raising a financially independent and skilled generation is coming to fruition. This is based on the success stories of beneficiaries in the various host communities who have started adding economic value to their respective communities and the society at large.
This year’s edition which was flagged off on August 1 with a total of 472 beneficiaries, including women and youth from six locations — Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos, Abia, Enugu and Ogun states respectively- ended on October 30 with beneficiaries trained in twenty skill areas namely Confectionery (Baking), Fishery, Beads Making, Wig Making, Cosmetology, Hairdressing, Solar Panel Installation, Mobile Phone repairs, Barbing, Fashion Design, Marketing, Block Molding among others.
The beneficiaries upon completion of the programme -where they would have been equipped with vocational and life skills to enable them create wealth and support livelihood- will be provided with start-up tools to aid their journey into entrepreneurship and financial independence.
Like the saying, necessity is the mother of invention, Nigerian Breweries Plc has focused on the bright side of things and is making the most of the opportunities that the Nigerian growing population presents it with. With the growing rate of the programme and its skilled beneficiaries, we can all be hopeful of a productive and vibrant Nigeria driven by a young population of able, skilled and willing minds.