The 20th Vision 2020 career counselling, industry awareness and Youth Empowerment programme of the Lonadek Oil and Gas consultants held recently at the MUSON Centre, was a milestone its Coordinator, Dr Ibilola Amao, said was worth celebrating.
Since 2006, the firm has been preaching the gospel of abundant career opportunities in the oil and gas as well as areas that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), which can only be filled by professionals with the right attitude and morals.
Dr Amao said so far, the Youth Empowerment and Restorative Initiative has encouraged thousands of secondary school pupils in Lagos and Abuja to prepare themselves for fruitful careers in the country’s productive sectors through the workshops held in Lagos and Abuja and summer camps held in Lagos.
With five more years left before the project deadline, Dr Amao is optimistic that the firm would meet its target of reaching 1,000 youths to be empowered to take their places in Nigeria’s economy and reduce the country’s dependence on expatriate skills.
She said: “This is a very special edition because this is the 20th. It has been a lot of hard work to come this far; a lot of self motivation. Because it has been really tough getting people to understand the purpose of identifying young talents and encouraging them through career counseling to pursue careers in Science ,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We thank God that we have been consistent; we have been able to run with a minimum of two events in a year.
“This is our 10th year, and we hope that in the next five years before the project comes to an end we will be able to hit our target to touch lives significantly.
The target is to touch the lives of 100,000 youths by the year 2020 and to have tangible evidence for meritocratic system for getting the brightest brains and encourage them to pursue careers in STEM and make positive impact on national development. We are beginning to see them because we have success stories from participants from 2006.”
One of the students so impacted about nine years ago, Longinus Maduka, addressed participants at the event.
Maduka, an Electrical/Electronics Engineering (Telecommunications option) graduate of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), told The Nation that participating in the first summer camp in 2007 helped him to take purposeful steps towards earning his engineering degree in the tertiary institution.
The former pupil of Gracewell Academy, Coker, said: “My journey with Vision 2020 has actually been very beneficial. If not for them, I would not have known much. It influenced me because I was able to complete my tertiary education by taking advantage of various scholarships by the oil companies”.
During the 20th Vision 2020 workshop, the participants were counselled by various speakers, including Mr Soji Oyawoye, who urged them to achieve their dreams irrespective of their backgrounds.
“Your background does not matter. What matters is for you to have the right attitude to life,” he said.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of the Vision 2020 20th edition awards to supporters of the programme, which went to Addax Petroluem Development Nigeria Limited, pioneer sponsors; Chevron Nigeria Ltd; and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO).
Others were: Dr Layi Fatona, MD, Niger Delta Exploration and Production Ltd, Mr Oyawoye, and Mr Ernest Nwapa, pioneer Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
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