Kaduna, NIGERIA – The Shade Tree Youth Empowerment Initiative (STYEI) Board of Trustees has just confirmed the national roll-out of the pilot project inaugurated last January, in the presence of the Nigerian Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment.
STYEI is a corporate social responsibility program developed with the help of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) and financially supported by the PSA Foundation, that aims at reducing poverty and empowering unemployed and underemployed youth in Nigeria.
This large-scale initiative, the first of its kind in Nigeria, covers a number of issues. The creation of jobs in the strategic sector of people mobility is at stake on the one hand, but it is also a way to act for the durability of the vehicles and to ensure a flow of non-dangerous spare parts.
The pilot workshop inaugurated in January, consisting of prefabricated panelled building and ramp, tested the robustness and adaptability of the structure, and can now be extended throughout the Nigerian territory. 12 similar structures are expected in 2018.
The completed prototype now formally commissioned, will continue to be used for demonstration and learning purposes.
Each STYEI garage will have the potential to recruit at least 10 workers at take-off, a workforce meant to grow rapidly.
Several hundreds of young Nigerians should eventually benefit from this awaited program.
Targeted at young Nigerian volunteers, with at least Senior Secondary School Certificate, the initiative is expected to train auto mechanics to operate on today's high technologies in order to maintain and repair vehicles that are currently on the market.
The objective of the mentoring is to allow these young people to become self-employed and eventually job providers within the automobile industry's service chain.
Beyond technical skills acquisition, training and technical documentation provision, the program will also set up and equip standardized service garages that these young entrepreneurs will own and run independently.
The program managers are keen on pointing out that the project was able to emerge thanks to the involvement of the Nigerian public authorities to allow the construction of future training centers and the support of PAN, which provides the program with its human and technical resources.
The initiative is also supported by the United Nations Development Program.
"It's a strong human-hearted project, with no such history in Nigeria," says Eric Maydieu, Groupe PSA West Africa and Nigeria zone leader and also a project sponsor to the PSA Foundation.
"In a country twice as big as France, without real means of mass communication, the vehicle is the only means of mobility. 61% of the population is under 25 years of age and has strong regional disparities with a malnourished and illiterate north. Any project to promote youth employment, empowerment and independence is welcome. "
Long live the program and nice trip to a new generation of entrepreneurs!
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