By Kenneth Jukpor
Over 50 Nigerian females ranging from senior secondary schools to undergraduates in tertiary institutions as well as career makers in civil service and private sector participated in the second edition of Women in Leadership and Career Empowerment Programme (WILCEP) organized by MMS Plus Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame (WoFHoF) as part of efforts to contribute to the development of the female brand in the country.
The 2-day event which held on Wednesday June 27th and Thursday June 29th 2018, at the MMS International Image Centre, Festac, Lagos, provided free but thorough training for the participants in Digital Media, Blue Economy, Oil and Gas, Visual Content Production and Entrepreneurship; which are money-spinning sectors that the nation is yet to optimally explore.
While addressing the participants on Day2, the Secretary of African Women in Maritime (WIMA) Mrs. Rollens Macfoy, Nigerian chapter admonished the young women to seize opportunities in the blue economy.
Macfoy who presented a paper titled; “Optimizing the opportunities in Blue Economy”, stressed that 70% of earth’s resources are underneath the seas, adding that a greater portion of the wealth from the seas and oceans remain untapped.
Macfoy who represented the WIMA Nigeria President, Barr. (Mrs.) Jean-Chiazor Anishere, motivated the young women to be resilient in their drive to be successful, as she said; “nothing of immense value or success can be attained from a position of discouragement”
She said; “As a young lady who intends to be successful in life, you can’t be in the university and your primary concern is fix a weavon of N15,000. If you can afford to spend lavishly on such items, you can as well start paying your school-fees. That’s my philosophy. My daughter is here, she is a 200level student of Crawford University and she can attest that I always tell her about the need to make money and be financially prudent. I tell her that she has to work.
On the taking up opportunities in the blue economy Macfoy who is the CEO of OceanDeep Services Limited, said; “When we talk about blue economy don’t despair, it’s not a job for some specific set of people neither is it anybody’s patent right. You can study on your own even online and you would surely rise to the top. I’ve been in the industry for almost 20 years and my focus and drive has placed me where I am today.”
“I visited several Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) waiting from 8am-5pm just to see the CEO. I repeated this for about two weeks at a stretch before taking a break from that company to face other businesses but I returned months later and most times I got the job. There was a job I chased for one year and three months but I eventually got the contract. That contract runs for another two years and since I got it I have been smiling to the bank monthly. How do you convince me to stop? Why do you allow yourself to be discouraged? The real you is ‘the person’ you intend to be in the next 10 years and that should spur you to work more now. What do you intend to tell your classmates when you meet in 10 or 20 years?” she asked.
However, she blamed parents who exposed their children to lavish spending, stating that such foundation position the children to be financially reckless as their needs would always outweigh modest earnings.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ayomide Akerin, a Digital Marketing Strategist and Trainer with Edubridge Consultants, exposed the participants to the numerous opportunities in the digital media, ranging from online marketing, website design, blogging, programming and coding, utilizing social media as a tool for earning revenue, among others.
Mr. Akerin stressed that digital skills and the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) was crucial to the development of several businesses in Nigeria and Africa, while the industry also provided enormous employment opportunities as well as technological innovations.
He warned the participants that the class of people who would find it difficult to survive wouldn’t be those without money but those who would be unable to flow with the modern changes and utilization of technologies.
Speaking on the sidelines to MMS Plus newspaper, the ICT Trainer stated that most developed countries had been exploring digital technologies and strategies in several ways while Africa was yet to fully embrace the initiative.
“Nigerians, especially the young ones must be encouraged to learn and explore the opportunities in digital media for the fiscal benefits and to grow the nation’s economy. The point is that we are in the age of digital technology and the good thing is that we have contents like artificial learning and it tells us how much technology is changing the way we do things” he said.
The Group Executive Director/ Company Secretary, Masters Energy Group, Mrs. Patience Dappa presented a paper titled: “Making a Career in Oil and Gas Industry: Prospects and Challenges”.
Mrs. Dappa was represented at the event by the Managing Director, FirstUnion Excel Limited Mr. Mahmud Dawodu.
Other papers presented at the event include: “Becoming skilled in Visual Content Production, Graphics, Video Editing and Photos” by Mr Kazeem Aweh as Mr. Mathias Nwabueze, an Entrepreneur and Life-Coach presented a paper on “Entrepreneurship: Building New Power Base of the Economy”. All it takes to be a successful entrepreneur globally was x-rayed while limitations, especially in Nigerian context and how to overcome them were discussed.
In his opening address the Founder, MMS WoFHoF Initiative, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke stressed the importance of investing in women and promoting the female brand, describing women as loyal, dedicated, committed and productive when given assignments to handle.
Mr. Kingsley recalled that the maiden edition of the WILCEP conference produced a book titled; “MENTORSHIP: The Link to Effective Leadership”. The book is a collection of the presentation of talented women who told intriguing stories about their lives at the maiden WILCEP event in 2017, with their experiences chronicled into a guide for effective leadership across various sectors.
The Founder stressed that the WILCEP initiative with the theme: “Optimizing the Blue Economy and Digital Media Skills for Wealth Creation” was created to enhance the capacity of young Nigerian women by giving them one-on-one mentorship opportunities with successful women, adding that the 2018 edition provided opportunities for skill acquisition in digital media and opportunities in blue economy.
One of the participants at the training, a 300level student in the department of Business Education from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in affiliation with the Federal College of Technical Education, Akoka, Ms. Akinwande Oluwatosin said she was thrilled to have learnt so much from the conference.
“This initiative by MMS Plus WoFHoF is a very good one and today’s programme was about blue economy and digital media. These are areas that are relatively novel to me. I haven’t paid attention to these issues on the blue environment. I wasn’t aware of the immense opportunities in the water let alone know that one can make money from things like waste recycling” she said.
According to Akinwande, she also learnt that success and monetary benefits comes from identifying needs in the society and meeting these needs, the solution to the problem/ need is what brings monetary reward.
“I also learnt a lot from the ICT training such as how to create websites and use the social media to make money, promote businesses, I know what to demand from the website designer because I know the details a good website must have” she added.
The schools which participated in the programme include; Unique Toes Mission Secondary School, Badagry, Grace Polytechnic, Surulere, UNIBEN FCET Chapter and Federal College of Technical Education (FCET), Akoka; while a delegation of female leaders at the Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Council and Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) Lagos State, graced the occasion.