Adewale Sanyaolu

Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) Joint Venture says it has empowered another set of 120 youth entrepreneurs from seven states of the Niger Delta with N48 million.

The initiative, Shell Nigeria LiveWIRE business, is to assist the beneficiaries to begin small-scale businesses in their respective states with a view to becoming models for alternative livelihoods as part of the programme to deter involvement of youths in vices.

The 120 beneficiaries received their certificates at a Regional LiveWIRE graduation ceremony in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

SPDC General Manager, External Relations, Mr. Igo Weli, described the company’s flagship youth enterprise development programme as a potent initiative that has produced over 7,000 Niger Delta entrepreneurs since inception in 2003 with most of them now employers of labour.

“Some of the beneficiaries have also been given the opportunity to participate in SPDC’s supply chain as vendors and have been linked to growth capital from other agencies.”

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Director of Secondary Education, Rivers State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Sokari Davies, commended SPDC and its joint venture partners for the consistent sponsorship of the Shell Nigeria LiveWIRE programme.

“Irrespective of the challenges in the operating environment, SPDC still deemed it necessary to empower and develop the youths. Other multinational oil companies should copy SPDC and channel resources towards the development of the youths. That way, restiveness will greatly reduce. Government will continue to partner with SPDC because of this.

“It is indeed a remarkable day for the 120 beneficiaries and we are pleased to see this group of young entrepreneurs start up businesses that will contribute to the economic development of our communities,”.

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