By Onuwa Lucky Joseph
National service brings out the dread in a lot of young Nigerians. While many look forward to the one-year service after the stress of school, they wish it’d go on so at least they can collect on the allowance (allawee) every month end. The bastardised rendition for the NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) acronym amongst many such is Now Your Suffering Continues which aptly captures what awaits the unready amongst them when the service year ends. Clearly not something they look forward to.
But it is not all doom and gloom. Junior Achievement Nigeria, in partnership with the Lagos Business School (LBS) all of 21 years ago, began an annual project called the Venture in Management Programme (ViMP) for members of the NYSC, to give them the wherewithal and kit them with the knowhow for entry into the world of work.
This year’s edition, funded by Parthian Partners, was an intensive one-week affair, and for the first time, implemented in a hybrid mode, thereby giving more opportunity to reach more graduates than in previous years. It was conducted by facilitators from the Lagos Business School (LBS) and some key industry leaders to prepare Nigeria’s future business leaders for the responsibilities, opportunities and demands of tomorrow’s business world. The curriculum included stimulating classroom sessions, case studies, panel discussions, networking, study groups, guest speakers and recreation, culminating in a strategy workshop, during which the participants presented solutions to real-world case studies.
All participants got to attend the programme for free as a result of quality support provided by:
- Verraki Partners,
- Channels Television
- City FM 105.1
Foluso Gbadamosi, Executive Director, Junior Achievement Nigeria, was happy let on that ‘the Venture in Management Program was conceived with the goal of creating a transformational experience for selected National Youth Service Corp members and/or recent graduates every year”.
A salient reason for the JAN intervention, according to Gbadamosi, can be found in the result of “a survey by Oliver Wyman which was tailored towards examining the employability gaps among Africans. The results clearly “showed that youths needed to improve in diverse skills such as digital skills, communication, critical thinking, teamwork and get work experience to be job ready. This program bestows young graduates with all of these and more”.
The ‘more’ comes out when you hear one of the outstanding female participants at ViMP 2021, Praise Babalola who said: “One of the best decisions I made was applying to the Venture in Management program and getting in. Although the program has ended, I still visit my notes like I took the classes yesterday”.
Hakeem Akiode, an outstanding male participant, was of the same view: “My experience at the ViMP’21 can be likened to that of a swimmer who comes above water to get oxygen, so he can continue. ViMP is that oxygen for me. And thanks to Junior Achievement Nigeria, I have received the right skills, mindset and network to proceed to the next phase of my career. I am thankful to JAN for this opportunity, and I cannot wait to share what I have learnt with my immediate community.”
Femi Taiwo, Executive Director, LEAP Africa, and who is also a 2010 ViMP alumnus was quick to reference his ViMP background: “I am a proud ViMP alum. The ViMP experience was amazing. I was privileged to have attended a very good higher institution, but I attended ViMP and I saw another level of excellence. The network I built then has contributed immensely to my career trajectory and growth; it set me up for my career. One very key thing I took away from ViMP and which has stuck with me to date is the pursuit of excellence. No matter the constraint, excellence must be at the forefront.”
Amongst the over 1000 ViMP alumni graduate over the past 21 years who are now leading businesses and social enterprises and participating actively in government are Tunji Eleso, Adenike Adeyemi, Chienye Ogwo, Gbenga Sesan, Femi Taiwo, Toyosi Adekoya, Zeal Akaraiwe, and Christina Olusile among others.
This year’s edition, having been made possible by Parthian Partners, Nigeria’s foremost indigenous Inter-dealer brokerage firm, with a wide range of clients cutting across local and foreign Banking Institutions, Asset Managers, Insurance Companies, Pension Fund Administrators, Corporates and Development Organizations, got a grateful Foluso Gbadamosi thanking the organisation “for enabling us equip young people with these crucial life skills they need for success.”
Adekemi Akinyede, Parthian Partners Head, Human of Resources, in her response expressed her delight at having “partnered with Junior Achievement Nigeria for the 2021 Venture in Management Program (ViMP)”, adding that “the career-defining experience for the participants has created a high impact on them to become ethical business leaders who will successfully run their own businesses or manage already established businesses.
This JAN/Parthian Partners partnership makes a lot of sense in world where young Nigerians see only fog and haze when it’s about their future. There should be a lot more “ViMPs” from different organisations because it’s not enough to say our youths are leaders of tomorrow. They need to feel empowered to do the leading.
To know more about Junior Achievement Nigeria, visit www.ja-nigeria.org
And for more information on Parthian Partners, visit www.parthianpartnersng.com