The Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Direct Produce, Angel Adelaja, has urged Nigerian youths to focus on entrepreneurship and pursue their dreams in spite of the odds. She gave the charge at a youth programme organised by Oxfam International in Lagos.
The event tagged: “Let’s Trigger Change,” was aimed at providing support to youths in different fields of human endeavour. Adelaja, who started her business with N20, 000 said she never thought it would grow that big.She explained that she discovered green house and hydroponic farming systems when she sought solutions to farming challenges and pests control products online.
Her words: “I got a land in Osun State with which I started farming. I spent a lot of money and I realised that getting access to my market, getting trucks to transport my produce, electricity issues and cost that I put into clearing the land were difficult.
“So, I said if I am facing this with a good job and enough money to invest, what about people who don’t have? We face some difficulties every day. You farm and pests will eat up your produce and so on. So, I decided to do things differently.” Another speaker, Oluseun Onigbinde, said he had the challenge of low self-esteem but that never stopped him from actualising his dreams.
The Country Director of Oxfam Nigeria, Constant Tchona, described Nigerian youths as change agents, future parents and leaders of tomorrow.“At Oxfam, we are working to support about 47 per cent of youths age between 18 and 35 years across the country from rural and urban areas and they are ready to see how the youths could be further engaged,” he said.
Also, Project Lead, Michael Adeola, said Oxfam, in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were working to create employment opportunities for the youths.
HE noted that the organisation had trained no fewer than 200 people in various skills and that he was happy to report that the organisation was able to place 71 of them in permanent jobs.
“We are here today because young people are an important target group for Oxfam. Young people are the future and we believe if they don’t have the right skills, the right support or opportunities, we will get the future wrong from the present.
“So, we will provide young people with skills and opportunities, as well as capacity so that they can get the right jobs, start their own businesses and realise their dreams. That is why they are a very important priority group for us,” Adeola said.