Value Drivers Investment Limited in partnership with TOTAL Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited has rounded off a three-week knowledge empowerment initiative, tagged ‘TOTAL Agriculture Entrepreneur Skills Acquisition Training Program’ in Lagos, aimed at empowering youths and boosting agribusiness in Nigeria. The free and fully residential programme sponsored by Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, focused on building the knowledge of the participants on Agriculture as a Business, with expectations that on graduation the beneficiaries can set up agribusiness in the areas of Cassava, Vegetables and Snail production.
At the event, Uzoh Nwankwo, CEO, Value Drivers Investment Nigeria Limited, said “The journey to this event, started three weeks ago. Here we are, at the end of the intensive residential training, facilitated by agribusiness value chain experts, optimistic that participants have been empowered with the best knowledge to venture into agribusiness with confidence.” He commended Total Exploration and Production for their support in making this initiative a reality.
He added that, “This programme had several parts, ensuring that the beneficiaries, drawn mostly from the six geopolitical zones of the country, had an all-round knowledge and experience across various areas which include; farming methods, agribusiness value chain, risk assessment, farm produce branding, marketing, packaging, finance, business models and business planning to name a few.” He noted that the program was in furtherance of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Nigeria.
In a statement, Dr Charles Ngeribara, General Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, TOTAL Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd. said, “this programme was designed with the objective of delivering top quality agricultural training that empowers Nigerian youths with livelihood skills. Through our capacity development initiatives, Total aims to empower as many people as possible and actively support nation-building efforts in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals numbers one and eight, which are ‘no poverty’ and ‘decent work and economic growth’ respectively.”
Giving the closing remarks, Nelson Ahaneku, Chairman, Value Drivers Investment Nigeria Limited, encouraged the beneficiaries of the programme to go out and pave ways in the agribusiness sector. “Our wish is for you to go far and for your products to be supplied nationwide and beyond.”
As part of the closing ceremonies, the beneficiaries, drawn from different parts of Nigeria were given starter packs to help them begin their journey. The attendees expressed gratitude to the sponsors and the organisers while beaming in optimism that knowledge gained from the programme will help them a great deal.
In attendance, were Dr Charles Ngeribara, General Manager, CSR and Sustainable Development, TOTAL Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd, Emmanuel Ikomi, Manager TOTAL Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd, Igazeuma Okoroba of TOTAL; Nelson Ahaneku, Chairman, Value Drivers Investment Nigeria Limited, Uzoh Nwankwo, CEO Value Drivers Investment Nigeria Limited; Kenneth Ahaneku, Director Value Drivers Investment Nigeria Limited, Leke Akindele, Director Value Drivers Investment Nigeria Limited; Akeredolu Olayinka Abimbola, Director and Lagos State Coordinator; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Taiwo Fibisola, Assistant Director Youth Development, Ministry of Youths and Social Development; Engr Olabisi Rita-Lewis, representing the Permanent Secretary Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Dr Ikechukwu Kelikume, Programme Director, Lagos Business School.
The training programme involved classroom and fieldwork in a reputable farm, facilitated by world-class faculty drawn from Lagos Business School, Dominican Centre and other Subject Matter Experts in the Agribusiness value chain. The classroom training took place in Lagos while the field training was delivered at Dominican Centre for Human Resources Development (farms centre) owned by the Dominican Catholic priests in Ibadan, and while in Ibadan the participants were taken to International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for first-hand information on research, modern and mechanised agriculture.