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Leading indigenous oil and gas logistics group, INTELS Nigeria Limited, recently graduated a set of 80 women under its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Women Empowerment Programme Scheme Synergy (WEPSS), in Onne Free Trade Zone, Rivers State.
Business Hilights recalls that WEPSS was established in 2013 with the vision of empowering host community women drawn from various parts of Nigeria where interests of INTELS are located through training in fashion design and tailoring.
The scheme also goes the extra mile of empowering graduates on completion of training.
Since inception, more than 1000 women drawn from various communities have been empowered through the project.
The latest 80 successful trainees were the first batch of beneficiaries admitted into the scheme in January 2019.
In his address during the graduation ceremony held in Rivers State, the Managing Director, represented by the General Manager, Legal and Corporate Services of INTELS Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mike Epelle, expressed delight over the impact of the programme on beneficiaries since inception.
According to him “This is a programme that the management of INTELS Nigeria Limited holds very dear to its heart. We are so proud and happy to know that this has continued right from the time it started and sustained up till date.
“It was the dream of the wife of the founder of INTELS that there should be something like this set up for the women because it appears we have been paying too much attention to the men. So the idea is to have a balance. Let there be something that can be done for women and that is how this programme started.”
The Managing Director further advised the beneficiaries to make necessary sacrifices required to put the skills they acquired during their training to good use.
He charged them to “Invest your earnings in the business. There will be enjoyment as the years go by but sustain and invest in the business. From the little you will start with, you can multiply and employ people.
“Look for the success stories, don’t let the training you have acquired here go down the drain. If you apply yourself well to what you have learnt and develop yourself even more, you will certainly be a success story.
“Many people are making a huge living out of fashion; you can get there, just start and be consistent. Most of the establishment you hear about started many years ago and today have grown big,” he said.
Earlier in her remarks, WEPSS Project Head, Nancy Freeborn, who restated the company’s commitment to women empowerment, averred that apart from the tailoring skills acquired, the programme also inculcated “soft skills” including personal hygiene and how to run successful businesses after graduation.
She made them to understand that “The skill you have been given is a gift from INTELS through the WEPSS. That skill is what has allowed you to explore new ideas to create and to design. Make INTELS proud by putting into use the skills that you have acquired.
Freeborn added that “It gives us a lot of joy when we go on our follow-up exercise and see people who are really putting into use the skill they have acquired.”
Responding on behalf of other beneficiaries, 26 years old Esther Osarodanwi, who emerged the best performing trainee, thanked INTELS Nigeria Limited for changing their lives from job seekers to job creators.
She was celebrated with a start-up kit which include an industrial sewing machine, steam iron, chair, scissors, seam ripper, box of tailors’ chalk and a measuring tape to establish her fashion designing business
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