Oil and gas logistics giant, INTELS Nigeria Limited has graduated a fresh batch of 80 women under its Women Empowerment Programme Scheme Synergy (WEPSS).
WEPSS, which is a Corporate Social Responsibility programme of INTELS, was established in 2013 with the vision of empowering 5,000 community women drawn from various parts of Nigeria over a 20- year period through training in fashion design and tailoring.
So far, more than 1000 women drawn from various communities have been empowered through the project.
The successful trainees are the first batch of beneficiaries admitted into the scheme in January 2019.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at the Federal Lighter Terminal, Onne, Rivers State on Friday, the General Manager, Legal and Corporate Services of INTELS Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mike Epelle, who represented the company’s Managing Director, expressed delight with the impact of the programme on beneficiaries since inception.
He said, “This is a programme that the management of INTELS Nigeria Limited holds very dear to its heart. We are so proud and happy to know that this has continued right from the time it started and sustained up till date.
“It was the dream of the wife of the founder of INTELS that there should be something like this set up for the women because it appears we have been paying too much attention to the men. So the idea is to have a balance. Let there be something that can be done for women and that is how this programme started.”
He advised the beneficiaries to make necessary sacrifices required to put the skills they acquired during their training to good use.
“Invest your earnings in the business. There will be enjoyment as the years go by but sustain and invest in the business. From the little you will start with, you can multiply and employ people. Look for the success stories, don’t let the training you have acquired here go down the drain. If you apply yourself well to what you have learnt and develop yourself even more, you will certainly be a success story.
“Many people are making a huge living out of fashion; you can get there, just start and be consistent. Most of the establishment you hear about started many years ago and today have grown big,” he said.
In her remarks, WEPSS Project Head, Nancy Freeborn, while restating the company’s commitment to women empowerment, said that apart from the tailoring skills acquired, the programme also inculcated “soft skills” including personal hygiene and how to run successful businesses after graduation.
“She said, “The skill you have been given is a gift from INTELS through the Women Empowerment Programme Scheme Synergy (WEPSS). That skill is what has allowed you to explore new ideas to create and to design. Make INTELS proud by putting into use the skills that you have acquired. It gives us a lot of joy when we go on our follow-up exercise and see people who are really putting into use the skill they have acquired.”
26 years old Esther Osarodanwi, who emerged the best performing beneficiary was provided with a start-up kit which include an industrial sewing machine, steam iron, chair, scissors, seam ripper, box of tailors’ chalk and a measuring tape.
Osarodanwi, who broke down in tears while receiving her certificate and the start-up kits, poured encomiums on the management of INTELS for impacting positively on women through the acclaimed empowerment scheme.
She said the skill acquired during the training has helped develop her passion for tailoring and fashion design.