ODIMEGWU PHILIP is a STEP beneficiary (Fashion Design and Tailoring) in the 2017/2018 Cycle of the Delta State Government’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme. He hails from Oko-Mgbele in Oshimili South Local Government Area. He is a promising young entrepreneur who took advantage of the State Government’s job creation programme to liberate himself from the labour market.
Philip is a Political Science graduate from the Delta State University, Abraka and the CEO of Adam Ezecutive, a fashion home that specialises in building wardrobe for clients. His major clients are celebrities, the majority of whom do not know his office location because he uses online platforms to market his business. He can be reached on instagram: adamezecutive and on Whatsapp: 07061694603.
He shares his success story. “Job creation bureau laid the foundation I am building on. Since establishment with an industrial sewing machine, an industrial weaving machine, one generator from the government and personal savings of ₦300,000 and two manual sewing machines from friends, I have bought three industrial sewing machines, a button hole machine, a 10KVA sound proof generator of ₦900,000, office furniture and a medium-size generator.”
“I have five employees and eight apprentices. In Adam Ezecutive, aka the Ideal Man, we teach men how to dress. My clients do not necessarily need to know where my shop is. I go out in search of them to take their measurements as far as Lagos and deliver to them same way. I meet most of my clients online through the social media. As a fashion designer, I am my own model. I ensure that I am the best dressed person in every ceremony I attend. Most of my clients are celebrities and high-profile Instagram personalities. I have clients in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Uganda, Namibia and Ghana. Despite that, my prices are fair and affordable. I make suits, natives, shirts, trousers, ankara crazy stuff etc. We have developed capacity and we deliver within two to seven days because we work night and day.”
“My advice is for everyone to acquire a skill for self-employment and for government to upscale the job creation programme to engage more youths in order to save them from crime and internet fraud. I am giving back to society by training two persons for free. I also intend to go back to the Government-owned vocational training centre, Asaba where I was trained and to job creation orientation programmes to mentor the trainees as part of my community service.
Written by Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh.
Igoh Oghenekaro, a beneficiary of the 2018/2019 CYCLE under BROWN STEP, hails from Isoko North Local Government Area. She was trained in Fashion and Textile Design under the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) of the Delta State Government. She is the outstanding CEO of Kandice Apparel, whose story is an inspiration to anyone desirous of success in the face of daunting challenges. Her shop is a three-bedroom apartment, well-equipped with many sewing machines, each trainee manning hers. I was shocked to know that the smallest in size of all the ladies present owns the shop. I demanded to verify her status through her job creation identity card and her National Identification Card to ascertain her identity. Stating that I was impressed with my findings is an understatement.
The sky is indeed her starting point considering her determination to succeed where graduates have failed despite her pathetic background and educational level. She is a product of a broken home. Oghenekaro has only the Basic Education Certificate (BECE), but her impeccable diction would make any listener believe she is a university graduate. Her parents abandoned her, and she could not complete secondary education. She became a photographer to put food on her table. Fortunately, she found favour with God when her pastor enrolled her in a fashion home to acquire skill in fashion designing. To further draw her closer to her destiny, her trainer who incidentally is a job creation trainer enrolled her for further training under Brown STEP.
The rest is history as in less than one year of establishment, this dynamic youth entrepreneur has a fashion training institute, has acquired ten manual sewing machines, five electric sewing machines and has over thirty trainees. She has a strong drive for success and has carved a niche for herself. She shares her story, “I had thought I would go into the conventional roadside tailoring, but after the training I received at Songhai Delta, my mind was opened to other possibilities beyond the conventional fashion designing things. I began to think of starting a fashion institute. After establishment with starter pack, I got a shop at City Complex, Asaba and started a school. In less than one year, the shop became too small, and I saw the reason to expand. Therefore, I rented this three-bedroom for N350, 000 annually. I do lots of adverts online. I currently have two billboards: each of them costs N80, 000 monthly. My students come from within and outside Delta State, and I realise my funding through training fees. I have thirty students currently. Six persons have graduated. I run a morning and afternoon session. I make clothes quite all right, but my niche is training for both male and female who are interested in fashion.” Her vision is to become one of the best fashion designers in town and to acquire university education through the National Open University by self-sponsorship. “I advise my students not to look at the things that the Government did not do for us or how our parents have failed us, instead how we use the little we have is what matters.
My driving force is Biblical. Through job creation training, I discovered that God had given me a talent which I must maximise to receive more from Him,” she added. She scored the job creation programme 100%. She said the structure of the programme is such that the system would change anyone willing to learn. The programme taught her discipline, financial management, staff management, customer management and how to create a niche for herself with particular reference to Pastor Afolabi Adun’s lecture, “Distinguishing Oneself from Others Makes the Difference.” She appreciated the State Government for the opportunity to produce facemasks for the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh
EVAH HELEN hails from Obiaruku in UkwuaniLGA. She has a BSC in Aquaculture and Fishery and is the CEO of BEGEP Aquaculture in Asaba. Helen is a beneficiary of the 2018/2019 Cycle of the Delta StateYouth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme(YAGEP). She shares her success story of how YAGEP moved her out of stagnation, and raised her from grass to grace.
ELEMOKWU JOY hails from Ika North East Local Government Area and is an Architect by profession. She is the CEO of Divine Cristal Agro-Allied Services located in Asaba. Joy is a Brown YAGEPreneur, a beneficiary of the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) of the Delta State Government. She shares her story of how the support package she received through Brown YAGEP grew her business.
“Immediately after I had my second child, a friend of mine advised me to begin a business that would augment my salary as my family was expanding. Then I was working in an Architectural firm, I thought about it and decided to go into poultry. I bought 10 broilers from the market and only 4 survived. I learnt from that experience, sought knowledge and bought 25 out of which I was able to rear 24 to maturity. Subsequently, I bought 100-day old broilers and the success rate was high and I continued.
“One of the challenges I faced was feed, how to buy feeds for my broilers, to overcome this hurdle, I decided to bring it to my environment by selling poultry feeds. Immediately I did that people were happy, commending me for bringing solution to the problem of going long distances to buy feeds. Gradually, I saw the need to expand to poultry vaccine. Apart from being a poultry farmer, I also sell poultry feeds and vaccine.
“Fortunately, support came my way through the Delta State Government’s Brown YAGEP. The job creation bureau came looking for already existing farmers. I was interested and got enrolled. YAGEP officers inspected my structure. Having met their criteria, I was supported with 400-day old broilers and 150 bags of feeds given by instalments to ensure that the feeds do not expire and for effective monitoring of my farm. This support package transformed my business. I was able to bring them up to table size. From the proceeds, I acquire a land of 100 x 50 for six hundred and fifty thousand naira. I continued to stock and restock till date; I have diversified into layer birds too. My target is that by the end of 2021, there should be a structure on the land to enable me to relocate from our residence and a rented incomplete building to a permanent poultry farm where I can increase my stock.”
“Another major challenge I encountered was that I was always at the mercy of market women who would want to buy less than my production cost. This got me thinking. The idea of grilling came, and my husband advised me to engage a caterer to train me on best practises on meat spicing. Thereafter, I bought deep freezers and two giant grilling ovens. I now slaughter and freeze my chicken. I only sell life broilers to market women occasionally. I started grilling and packaging them for sale. I currently supply grilled chicken to some supermarkets. People call to encourage me for adding value to the agricultural value chain. At the South-South Export Enlightenment and Engagement Forum, I met with exporters who promised to expose me on how best to reduce the moisture content of my product to increase the shelf life, improve the packaging and to make it exportable. I am also researching on it on my own.”
“This is where I am. From being someone who did not know where the next meal would come from, I am now an employer of labour, I have two employees, a male and a female. The male takes care of the shop while the female takes cares of the poultry. I appreciate Okowa for the initiative and the job creation bureau for identifying me when I least expected it. Without the support package, I would not have realized my potentials. The YAGEP support package I received from the State Government moved my business from stagnation to growth”.
Written by Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh
The contracting firm engaged in the execution of the Delta Agro-Industrial Park, Ogwashi Uku has been charged to redouble its efforts in the exercise to ensure that the project is delivered in good time.
OREVA UVOH was trained in Catering and Confectionery in the 2015/2016 cycle, and now is the CEO of Tonia Reva Fashion Home, Oleh in Isoko South Local Government Area. Oreva has not only diversified into fashion but has also branched out into Decoration and Event Management. The amazing thing about it all is that she is a secondary school graduate who has not been in the four walls of a university classroom. She was a homemaker before her enrolment into STEP in 2015 where she trained and got established in Catering and Confectionery.
The collection and submission of application forms into the 2020/2021 STEP Cycle has hit its fifth day in the 25 local government areas across the state.
The exercise, which is being carried out in collaboration with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Delta State, is to enable unemployed youths within the age bracket 18 to 35 years to enroll for the State Government’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP).
The 2020/2021 STEP Cycle which is at its preliminary stage would offer successful candidates the opportunity to be trained in any vocational skill o their choice, in entrepreneurship and business management tips to help them own and run their business as youth entrepreneurs after establishment by the State Government.
In an official statement by the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh, expressed satisfaction with the smooth take-off of the exercise. He enjoined the team to sustain the right attitude and efforts to the assignment with the aim of bringing the exercise to a successful completion.
Prof. Eboh stated that the exercise was being executed in collaboration with the NYSC to form a reliable state –wide-team involved in the giving out and return of STEP Application Forms.
While saying that the collaboration would engender neutrality in the exercise, he called for continued commitment and strict compliance with the rules guiding the exercise such as giving of daily updates on the progress reports, maintaining orderliness at the designated collection points and strict adherence to the COVID-19 prevention protocols.
On his part, the Assistant Director of Community Development of NYSC in the State, Mr. Johnson Ainakhu, said one of their mandates was to collaborate with government and non-government organizations, adding that the exercise was not new to them.
He pointed out that the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau was leveraging on their past track records to collaborate with them, emphasizing that the exercise was programmed to be a success as a result of the administrative procedures put in place by the Bureau right from the beginning.
Meanwhile, at Obiaruku, the Headquarter of Ukwuani Local Government Area (LGA), the STEP Programme Coordinator, Mr. Onyeisi Nkenchor, advised the candidates to fill the application forms properly. He tasked them to maintain orderliness to ensure a hitch-free exercise, assuring them that every local government area of the state would be represented in the STEP Programme.
Responding differently, Osiso Edith, who admitted she got the information through Whatsapp message expressed joy at being able to collect the form, saying she hoped to be trained in Hairdressing and Braiding. “If enrolled, trained and established, the programme will help me to become financially independent. The exercise is smooth and without preferential treatment,” she emphasized.
Also at Orerokpe in Okpe LGA, Divine Tebegbraye was hopeful that he would be shortlisted for the programme to enable him join the league of successful beneficiaries of the STEP Programme.
In the same vein, in Koko, the headquarters of Warri North LGA, Omoko Tony and Omamuli Moju who applied for Fashion Designing and Tailoring and Cathering & Confectionery respectively in anticipation remarked that the programme would help them to own their own their businesses and become successful entrepreneurs.
The 2020/2021 STEP Programme is the sixth cycle since the Okowa-led administration and has given over 3,800 previously unemployed youths the opportunity to become business owners and managers.
By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh