By Shafi’u Saleh
The RT Honorable member of House of Representatives for Demsa/Numan/Lamurde federal constituency and Chairman House Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa, Kwamoti B. La’ori, has reiterated his commitment to improve youth trainees on footwear and leather product manufacturing in the constituency.
The Hon member who has done much for youths in the past years, said in his remark during the graduation ceremony sponsored by him in Numan, “I am highly delighted to witness this historic occasion and I wish to begin with congratulating you, the graduate trainees of today, on the successful completion of the week-long training.
“I am proud to be part of this ceremony because it has been a part of my vision to see to it that youths are empowered with skills and knowledge that make them self-reliant, that make them trainers, wealth creators and employers of labor.
“I understand that amongst the trainees are SSCE, Diploma and NCE Certificate holders and rather than parade your certificates in search of white collar jobs, you have humbled yourselves to learn the skill of shoe making and leather products manufacturing, You have made me proud.
“For many years, I have sponsored various empowerments, trainings and distributed equipment to individuals, What I found out is that almost 90% of the beneficiaries sold the equipment after receiving them, at prices far less than the original value.
“The few that have utilized the skills effectively, they were not able to sustain it. I reasoned that the gap perhaps, is first lack of interest, lack of follow up after empowerment to ascertain the extent to which participants have utilized the skills and also poor business development, management and accounting skills amongst others.
“Therefore, in order to bridge that gap, I have emplaced a mechanism of tracking, monitoring and evaluating as well as rewarding success because ultimately, the goal is to raise future entrepreneurs whose work can be competitive with global brands and also cascade the knowledge to the growing population and emerging generation and not limited to Numan, Adamawa State.
“Hence, on successful completion of this training today, you would be promoted to a platform that would educate you on business development, management and capacity building skills.
‘There you’ll also learn how to build your business from the scratch and sustain same; how to register your company name and create a ninche for yourself; develop your brands and grow same to compete in the global market.
“You would be trained on how to access facilities from Bank of Industry and SMEDAN to boast your capital base just like I facilitated for farmers to access Agricultural Loans from NIRSAL running into Hundreds of Millions” he said.
Honorable Kwamoti La’ori added that “the goal is not just to make you self-reliant but to make you a trainer and employer of labor and that is how the training you received today would create trans-generational wealth.
“Interestingly, only few days ago, the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Ahmed Bola Tinubu GCFR presented the 2024 Appropriation Bill, also known as annual budget estimate.
“I don’t want to go into borrowing aspect or the huge percentage that is going into debt servicing, I am interested in the part that something is made available for human capital development and the development of small and medium scale enterprises.
Only last Wednesday, the DG of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) announced the partnership signed with Sterling and Access Banks where small and medium scale businesses can access loans ranging from 250,000 to 2.5 Million at less than 10% interest rate.
“I encourage you to further source for information on the internet on other opportunities provided by government to support your kind of business, With the knowledge you have been empowered with today.
“I look forward to seeing you develop something in the class of These global brands, Louis Vuitton, BATA SHOES, PUMA, ADIDAS, TOM FORD, RALPH LAUREN, ALEXIS BLACK and the likes with your creativity. If you can achieve this, I promise to recommend your brands to my colleagues and patronize your brands.
With the growing number of first class graduates of tertiary institutions seeking employment in government cycle, the few available white collar jobs would continue to be scarce and highly competitive.
“While I am not against government employment I support being the job creator and I wish to partner with you to achieve that. I wish to end with the story of President Abraham Lincoln whose father was a show maker just like you.
“On the day he resumed one man tried to mock him by telling him that his late father used to make shows for his rich family. Abraham Lincoln was so proud of his father’s profession and instead of feeling bad used the opportunity to promote his father’s trade with pride and dignity. I want you to know the your market is always increasing with every child birth. Take advantage of this and make name for yourself and your generation unborn.”
In his address, the Director Legal Services, Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) Zaria, Barrister Yakubu Afuwai, who was raining consultants applaud the Hon member for the guest, he assured that the institute would continue to work to fill the vision of the member to achieve the goals of our youth.
In his speech on behalf of the graduands, Mr Julius commanded the member for his continued assistance and sponsored the youth particular on the area of empowerment.