The West Africa Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo), operator of the $1bn West African Gas Pipeline, which was built to supply natural gas from Nigeria to users in Benin, Togo and Ghana, has invested in 80 youths in Ogun State.
The firm aims to boost their vocational and technical skills under its Community Youth Enterprise Scheme.This, according to the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, WAPCo, Harriet Wereko-Brobby, was part of the programme introduced by the company five years ago to support brilliant but needy students to obtain tertiary education.
Wereko-Brobby, who spoke in Ogun State last week,said an important part of that programme was the vocational and technical training under which some students acquired vital vocational skills for life.
After the handover of start-up tools to beneficiaries of the WAPCo Community Youth Enterprise Scheme, she said: “WAPCo’s CYES provides young persons in our host communities, who have completed basic education but cannot pursue further studies due to financial constraints, the opportunity to learn a trade of their choice in recognised vocational and technical institutions in Nigeria,” she said.
The beneficiaries were trained in vocations such as welding and fabrication, fashion and design, catering and hotel management, woodwork, joinery and carpentry, according to her. Wereko-Brobby said: “This programme was considered as an opportunity to directly impact a larger number of people within our host communities. It consists of a scholarship programme for students from our communities, for the entire duration of their stay in any Nigerian tertiary institution, and the CYES.
“Over the last six years, WAPCo has spent over N225.65m on the scholarship arm of the programme while about N167.44m has so far been spent on the CYES programme. This amount does not include the cost of the start-up tools.
“WAPCo made a promise to every beneficiary of the CYES programme from the onset that if they are able to successfully graduate from their training, the company will equip them to enable them to set up their own businesses. True to its words, WAPCo is here today to give meaning to its promise.”
The startup tools included make-up tool boxes, gas cookers with cylinders, industrial tailoring sewing machines and iron, electrical tool box and welding machines.