Diamond Bank Plc, a leading retail bank in Nigeria, recently, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, graduated 100 youths from its entrepreneurial skill enhancement programme. The highly elated youths who were chosen from selected tertiary institutions in the South-Eastern part of the country, received lectures in top-of-the-range Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Entrepreneurial Skills in a three months training programme.

Beyond teachings on ICT, the graduated students who are expected to commence their six-month mentorship and industrial attachment in January 2015, also received trainings on finance, tips on how to access finance and the modalities for starting and management of a personal business.

Ayona Trimnell, Head, Corporate Communications of the Bank, stated that this year’s capacity building and enhancement programme which held from October to December 2014, was unique because of the revised course content which exposes the youths to a world-class ICT and entrepreneurial skills, noting that preparing and fortifying the youths for the future with the requisite up-to-date ICT knowledge and skills, is one of the surest ways to guarantee certainty, and bring Nigerian youths to play and compete at the global stage.

“Our activity in this area focuses on training and equipping students of tertiary institutions in the states across the country with ICT and Entrepreneurial Skills. The training did not only provide the youths with practical skills that make them employable but also serves as a source of livelihood through ICT skills development. Diamond Bank is passionate about this programme and is committed to it,” she said.

Trimnell stated further that Diamond Bank is particularly interested in young people because they hold the key for providing superior value and technology-based innovation for the future; and represent the strategic vision of the Bank’s operations; therefore are a “core of its strategic focus”. It can be recalled that the first edition of the ICT capacity training programme held in October 2013 with 100 students from two tertiary institutions in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State benefitting from the training scheme.

The initiative was implemented in partnership with Paradigm Initiative of Nigeria (PIN), a social enterprise organisation that connects underserved Nigerian youths with ICT opportunities. The capacity training initiative highlights the ill effects of unemployment and cybercrime, among other vices that limit the potential contribution of young Nigerians to the nation’s economy and opens the window for self-employment. On behalf of Diamond Bank, PIN provides trainees with continued post-program mentorship and support for a period of six months after graduation.

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