• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Hero gives N50m financial grants to promote Igbo apprenticeship scheme

Hero gives N50m financial grants to promote Igbo apprenticeship scheme

Hero Lager, a brand of the International Breweries Plc (IBPLC), said it has through the ‘Igba Boi Hero campaign’ given financial grants worth N50 million to graduates of Igbo apprenticeship scheme popularly called, Igba Boi.

The Igba Boi campaign was activated in six markets across the South East and Lagos including Ogbaru Main Market, Onitsha, Nkwo Nnewi Market, Awka, Coal Camp Market Enugu, Alaba International Market Owerri, Ariaria International Market Aba, and Alaba International Market Lagos.

The campaign reached a total of 12,290,487 million people after which about 4,680 apprentices applied and 300 apprentices were eventually shortlisted. The 300 were mentored on how to run a successful business, awarded certificates and seed capital to start their businesses.

At the grand finale held in Lagos recently, Tolulope Adedeji, marketing director of International Breweries Plc, commended the apprentices and their trade masters for upholding the legacy of the highly impactful programme that has created employment for Igbo youths.

According to Adedeji, the N50 million seed money was announced this year, and the initiative was taken to places like Aba, Onitsha, Enugu, Awka, Imo and Lagos, and almost 5,000 apprentices in Nigeria applied to benefit from the programme.

Adedeji said the company worked with the Onitsha Business School (OBS), the trade masters, and market associations to shortlist 300 apprentices that were trained and also given the seed funding.

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Nkem Owoh, legendary actor and Hero brand ambassador, who graced the occasion, appealed to the government to support the scheme as way of employing young men and women.

On the origin and importance of the Igba Boi scheme, he said the original objective of Igba Boi was not to make money but to project family values.

“Everyone I know who went through the Igba Boi training is doing well today. Those who still want to get a university degree after graduating from the training and starting their own business, do it with ease,” he said.

Dubem Orji, brand manager of Hero Lager, said that Hero Lager started a campaign, ‘Aha-Gi-Efula,’ which means ‘may your name never be forgotten’ to propagate the importance of legacy.

“We conducted a study to find out what the Igbo people are known for globally and discovered that the Igbo apprenticeship system is one thing that stands out as a culture of the Igbo people. Hero Lager thought it wise to support the Igbo apprenticeship system and went ahead to produce ‘The Hero’s Walk’ documentary to tell the story and showcase this integral aspect of the Igbo culture.”

Ben Okoli, a trade master, whose apprentices, Chinonso Nowo and Patrick Idika received cheques of N500, 000 each, thanked Hero Lager for the initiative.

According to Okoli, “What Hero is doing is unprecedented and that Igba Boi is an Igbo heritage, which they people are very proud of. It employs our youths immediately after they finish their secondary school education,” he said.

Patrick Idika, one of the apprentices, thanked Hero for the support, saying that it will assist him in starting up his business on a good footing.