By Umoren Winifred, Afolabi Ayodele, Alaka Oyinkansola and Fashida Oluwaseyi
The Nigerian Universities Education Students Association (NUESA), UNILAG CHAPTER, commenced a 6 week free entrepreneurship programme on the 18th of November, 2023 tagged NEEP(NUESA Entrepreneurship Empowerment Programme). The programme, strictly limited to students from the faculty of Education, featured courses around entrepreneurship and technology.
NEEP featured fifteen diverse courses ranging from Hairstyling to tie and die to baking baking to UI/UX amongst many others cater to students’ interest.
Fifteen professionals, one for each course, facilitated the training. Mr Michael Ojo, the CEO of Octave Inc., Miss Adebayo Ifeoluwa, a professional makeup and gele artist, Mr Adebayo Olatunde amongst others.
Students interested in participating in the training had to pay their NUESA dues, have a 90% attendance record to get a certificate after the programme and a pass mark of at least 70% to qualify for graduation. Graduation and certificate presentation ceremony would take place on the 3rd of February, 2024.
As opposed to the common notion held by people that free training or programmes do not really offer much asides scratching the surface, each facilitator promised to be as in-depth as possible into each course they were to handle.
The data analytics facilitator, Mr Michael Ojo, expressed great enthusiasm and sheer passion for his students and the lengths he’s willing to go to teach them. He said, “Data analysis, like you said, is quite deep and I really love my students so I would go as deep as they need to become problem solvers so that they can make an impact wherever they are to make and create wealth. So, we’re going to go as deep as learning several tools- Excel, Powerplayer, SQL, Tableau and they’re going to work on different projects.”
Few participants also expressed their enthusiasm and appreciation for the courses. Esther Godday, from the film and cinematography class, shared her motive for joining. She said “It all has to do with my background in acting. I’ve acted in movies several times, I’ve featured in a lot of movies and whenever I see those handling the camera, I always want to be in that space. And there was one director who told me that if I wanted to build a career in acting, to have a start-up I would have to learn so that’s why I chose cinematography”.
A student from the tie and dye/adire making class, also pointed out that her interest in tie and dye is because she has “always had interest in it. I know how to sew so it’s not it bad, learning how to do adire and sewing it myself. That’s why I chose adire.”
NUESA President-elect,Balogun Oladeji Ibrahim, explained how important the entrepreneurship program was to him because, according to him, “The entrepreneurship program was a vision that I had when I was running for office of the president of the faculty of education. In my manifesto, I did promise the students of the faculty of education that when voted into power, I would do everything to empower them and make them contend with their contemporaries…”
Recognising the financial constraints faced in organizing such an amazing program, Ibrahim mentioned that he reached out to the professionals to partner with them by facilitating the program. This is to make the program accessible to students in the faculty and they were willingly volunteered.
He also pointed out that though the entrepreneurship programme was limited to just the students from the faculty of Education due to lack of resources, students from other faculties who had heard about the programme had reached out to register for it.
On the continuance of the programme, Ibrahim explained that the programme was a personal dream and vision whose continuance isn’t under compulsion. He said “this is my own dream, my own vision and I feel to a large extent that I’m achieving it. So, if another administration comes to power, if they feel led to take it up, all well and good, or, if the student populace requests for it, they would have to listen to the voice of the people and do what they want.”