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By Oki Samson, Trek Africa Newspaper

Recipients of the GOLDEN MORN Agripreneur grants.




Africa’s growth is connected to the productivity and quality of its youth. At this rate, we can affirm that ‘no youth, no Africa’.

The demography of persons less than 35 is estimated at roughly 60%. What does 60% even mean to a layman.

It means if you have 10 people in your household, only 4 of them are older than 35 years, the remaining six are from ages zero to 35. And we all know this are the ages that eat the most, they are the ones that use clothes the most, they are the ones that need jobs the most because they are the upwardly mobile. This is huge!

For Nigeria, the most populous Black country in the world, you can hazard a guess. 1 out of every 5 African is a Nigerian.

Nigeria cannot afford to have a large percentage of her youths out of gainful employment.

L-R: Mrs Omomene Odike, CEO, U-Connect Human Resources Limited; Edidiong Peters, Public Affairs Specialist, Nestlé Nigeria PLC; Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Nestlé Nigeria PLC; (Back row); Oyinlola Lawal, Youth Engagement Analyst, Jobberman Nigeria; Damilola Odubanjo, Learning and Development Associate, Jobberman Nigeria; Olugbenga Alabi, Category and Marketing Manager, Coffee, Nestlé Nigeria PLC; Uche Aso, Head, Learning and Development, U-Connect Human Resources Limited and Lanre Coleman, Head, Recruitment and Outsourcing, U-Connect Human Resources Limited.


The youth unemployment rate in Nigeria is soaring year-on-year. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) noted that it was 25.5% in 2017, 29.7% in 2018. In 2020, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) abandoned publishing the statistics altogether when the government wanted it to doctor the figures.

Any figure you see beyond 2020 are forecasts from other organizations not NBS official figures.

It is obvious that Nigeria cannot afford to have a large percentage of her youths out of gainful employment. It is desperate times in Nigeria.

Desperate situations demand drastic actions. Something must happen!

Nestlé has observed this trend. It is nipping the issue in the bud with the launch of the Nestlé Needs YOUth initiative.

To underscore the immediacy of action, Nestlé reached over 13,000 young Nigerians in the past 2 years. Imagine what the organization will do in coming years. Astounding you say!

Nestlé Needs YOUth initiative is focused on three areas of action – Employment and Employability, Agripreneurship, and Entrepreneurship.

L-R: Nwando Ajene, Category Manager, Culinary, Nestlé Nigeria PLC; Favour Adeleke, Agripreneur and grant recipient and Ifeanyi Orabuche, Category and Marketing Manager, Dairy, Nestlé Nigeria PLC.



These initiatives comprise Technical Training, My Own Business (MYOWBU), Youth Agripreneurship Development Program (YADIS), and Employability Skills Building Programs.

The initiative is done in collaboration with other stakeholders including the Lagos State Government, Nigeria Employers Consultative Forum (NECA) and tertiary institutions including Lagos Business School.

The activities include career fairs, entrepreneurship training and mentorship, as well as technical skills training, equipping youth to find decent employment or profitable enterprise.

Speaking at the launch of the Nestlé Needs YOUth initiative in 2020, the Managing Director/CEO of Nestlé Central and West Africa, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon shared: ‘It is clear that youth have a critical role to play in building thriving, resilient communities. We believe that communities cannot survive or be successful if they fail to create opportunities for future generations. Through Nestlé needs YOUth, we aim to help young people access economic opportunities. We also want to help equip the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs regardless of their field or level of expertise.’

On the value that the initiative brings to Nestlé, Alarcon said: ‘This is important for us as a business because young people are the employees who will keep our company dynamic and competitive in the future. They are the future farmers who will grow the crops we need and the future entrepreneurs who will help us reach new markets. This is one of the ways we create shared value.’

On another front, Nestlé Nigeria Plc. is also nurturing up-and-coming chefs and hospitality professionals who will take the food and nutrition, health and wellness, and hospitality industries by storm in the nearest future.

The Nestlé Professional Nigeria offers food solutions and practical knowledge that will help the students appreciate what is possible with food and nutrition. It also provides a unique opportunity to expose the youths to world class facilities nestled in Nestlé Nigeria Plc.

It is important to stress that through the Nestlé Professional Nigeria youth initiative, Nestlé Nigeria Plc. is bequeathing a heritage in Nutrition, Health, and Wellness industry to the youths.

This expertise was developed over 150 years. This pacesetter tradition in health guarantees Nestlé’s future commitment ‘to unlock the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come.’

Individuals and families will live happier, healthier lives with NESTLÉ!.

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