By Steve Agbota
Nigeria’s oil and gas logistics giant, INTELS Nigeria Limited has graduated a fresh batch of 73 beneficiaries of its popular Women Empowerment Project Scheme Synergy (WEPSS), bringing the total number of beneficiaries of the scheme to date to 1,700.
WEPSS was established by INTELS in 2013 to empower 5,000 community women over a 20-year period through training in fashion design and tailoring. The beneficiaries are trained free of charge in two batches every year.
During the graduation ceremony of the fresh batch of 73 beneficiaries under the 2022 Batch B at the WEPSS Training Centre, Federal Lighter Terminal, Onne Port on Friday, INTELS also presented a business support grant of N2 million to the Best Graduating Student and start-up kits to 15 other Outstanding Graduating Students.
The company also donated 1,000 garments to the Centre for Legal Support and Inmates Rehabilitation (CELSIR) – a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) focused on providing legal support for indigent inmates and victims of human rights violations. CELSIR equally provides rehabilitation support to inmates from their days behind bars to assisting with reintegration.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Managing Director of INTELS Nigeria Limited, Mr. Pasquale Fiore said WEPSS is part of the vision of the Group Chairman of INTELS, Mr. Gabriele Volpi, to support and empower Nigerian women.
“This facility was set up at the instance of our Group Chairman as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility targeted at the women of the communities where we operate in line with our commitment to enhance the socio-economic status of women in our host communities. The sole purpose of this programme is to enable women generate sustainable sources of income to support themselves and their families.
“We are delighted that within the eight years of its operation, WEPSS has successfully trained over 1,700 women, many of whom are presently earning a living from the skills acquired from the WEPSS Training Centre,” he said.
He charged the graduating beneficiaries to make good use of the skills imparted on them during the training.
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Legal, Corporate Services, Contracts and Compliance of INTELS Nigeria Limited, Amaopusenibo Mike Epelle said WEPSS has become one of the best training facilities for tailoring and fashion design in Nigeria. He said the WEPSS Training Centre produces top quality fashion designers and tailoring professionals twice a year.
“We urge you to go out and become WEPSS Ambassadors. You have been equipped with a powerful skill; make a conscious decision to make the most out of it,” he said.
The WEPSS 2022 Batch B Best Graduating Student, Esther Wehere, commended INTELS for sustaining the women empowerment scheme.
She also thanked the company, on behalf of her colleagues, for the training and empowerment, which was done at no cost to the beneficiaries.
INTELS has been the leader in Nigeria’s oil and gas logistic sector for almost forty years. The company provides comprehensive integrated logistics services for the Nigerian oil and gas industry. It is globally recognised as the benchmark for oil companies operating in West Africa.
In addition to offering employment opportunities to people from its host communities, INTELS actively sponsors developmental projects such as road construction, boreholes, medical services, scholarships, vocational training, sports and local community events.