For tailors and fashion designers in the 11 local governments areas in Oyo central senatorial district, good times are here as their representative in the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Yunus Abiodun Akintunde assisted them with training and equipment worth forty million naira.
The training which took place this week, saw the 215 beneficiaries received training simultaneously at Jesus the Rock College, Olorunsogo/Akanran Road, Jegede Bus-Stop, Ibadan; Opete Community Hall, Opete, Ogbomoso; and IPMAN Event Centre, Akinmorin Road, Oyo respectively.
Beneficiaries were taken through basic sales, marketing techniques and business strategies for small business; the legal aspect of entrepreneurship in Nigeria; how to become successful entrepreneur; and importance of entrepreneurship development in our generation.
Selected from the Nigerian Union of Tailors (NUT), NSPT, religious bodies, community associations, and other stakeholders, the trainees were full of praises for the Oyo-born All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftain.
Apart from getting daily allowances during the 3-day training, each of the participants went home with a sewing machine.
Represented by Alhaji Yinka Folarin, Senator Akintunde described the training as first in the series of the programmes he has for his people. He added that fashion designers were the focus of the first training programme.
“With the way the society is going, entrepreneurial education must not be taken with levity. It is not everyone that attended higher institutions that will get white-collar jobs. So, we have to look in the direction of gainful employment.
“In Oyo State for instance, the civil servants in the state are not up to 50,000. If you know the number of graduates our tertiary institutions are producing every year, you will know the state and federal government cannot absorb everyone. Also, private organisations cannot employ everyone.
“This training, however, is one of the ways to boost your profession. It will help to instill the right mindset for good business practices. The programme was designed by the Federal Cooperative College. It is solid,” he explained.
Chairman of the APC in the senatorial district, Dr. Joshua Oyebamiji, thanked the lawmaker for coming up with the initiative. said: “This type of training is very important for our entrepreneurs and unemployed youth. It is not enough to learn a trade. It is equally important for our people to learn management aspect of the trade. This will help them to do well, manage their customers and finances, establish best practices, and ensure that they take calculated risks.”
One of the trainers, Mrs. Christiana Ojo, who heads one of the departments at the Federal Cooperatives College, Ibadan, explained that “entrepreneurs recognise opportunities, where they are and they utilise them by producing products or services that will fill the vacuum identified.”
The participants who spoke one after the other, thanked the lawmaker for the gesture, saying that they were fully taught new techniques in fashion building as well as how to market their products.
Abdulwaheed Olalekan said: “I am a fashion designer and I have been a tailor for over 12 years. I am happy about this training. We were not only trained on how to sew clothes because we are all professionals but there are aspects of fashion designing that many of us have taken for granted. We don’t separate capital from profits. We do put everything together, and spend.
“But this training has provided opportunity for me to know about customer care, creating and maintaining quality always, the right prices to be charged. The good management aspect of tailoring is generally what I have learnt. It will keep me going for a long time. So, I thank Senator Yunus Akintunde for giving me the opportunity. I believe that this is a good training that will help to stabilise our businesses.”
An economics graduate of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, who was a beneficiary, Miss Bolanle Ambali, expressed happiness, explaining that after her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Lagos, “I had to learn fashion designing when I could not secure any white-collar job. I have been into full-time fashion designing for the past two years, and it has been a good experience for me.
“So, I thank Senator Akintunde. With this training, he has helped Nigerian youth to hone their entrepreneurial skills and reduce unemployment in the country. I want to plead with him that he should keep up the good job. I want to also advise his colleague lawmakers to also empower Nigerian youth the more.
Party leaders, Oloye Sunday Adewale and Alhaji AbdulRasak Ajibike who spoke together with the state secretary for the APC were also full of praises for the lawmaker.