Imo currently ranks first among the 36 states in the country as having the highest rate of unemployment with 75.1 per cent, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The number of unemployed youth in the state has continued to rise even with the abundance of investment opportunities that are scattered all over the 27 local government areas.
There are opportunities in integrated palm product processing, integrated sugar factory, maize processing, fisheries, pulp and paper, packaging industries, nonmetallic mineral based industries, opportunities in the gas industry, some investors are quick to point out. Investors and captains of industries are yet to harness these investment potentials because the past governments, as well as the present, led by Governor Hope Uzodinma, have done nothing tangible to create real job opportunities and there is nothing yet on ground to improve the worsening manufacturing environment to enable potential investors to come and harness the investment opportunities, Business A. M. was told.
This has become a worrisome situation and vexing issue to the business class. Now, Tshabron Group, a conglomerate of five firms, partnering with mobile phone operator, MTN Nigeria, has come to contribute its quota to reducing the rate at which unemployment is rising. Tshabron Limited, a Connect Enterprise Solution, which partners MTN Nigeria Communications and started with only one MTN Connect at Awka, Anambra State, has grown to 26 of such outlets spread across South-east and South-south geopolitical zones with over 156 graduates, most of them from Imo State working, said Charles Odiuko Okeke, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Tshabron Group .
“As at now our partnership with MTN is expanding on daily basis. MTN finds Tshabron as a veritable partner in all facets of its activities; we partner them in different ways. “My business with MTN, which has impacted positively on me and the teeming graduates of Imo State and South-east in general, has been a panacea to unemployment.
“But unfortunately, the Imo State government has not been supporting, has never shown any collaboration with me but we are doing it, helping the state to manage its teeming unemployed graduates,” Okeke said. In the Yellow Diamond Financial Services (YDFS), a financial aspect of MTN business, MTN has also appointed Tshabron as a Strategic Financial Partner (SFP) in the YDFS structure, and in this case, Tshabron covers half of the entire Imo State, with Imo North and Imo West as its districts, he said.
“And within this space, we have also recruited 65 graduates that are working for Tshabron and they are also recruiting agents that are doing business as Mobile MoMo agents, and as we speak Tshabron has about 2112 plus 280 agents. “So these people are already the people Tshabron Group has engaged to be generating daily bread, courtesy of my appointment as a Strategic Financial Partner. As we speak, we are still recruiting agents in this area,” Okeke said.
Tshabron, a strong stakeholder in the Imo State economy is utilizing its partnership with MTN alone to remove from the job market about 3,000 people that could have been roaming the streets in the state and in the Southeast in general. The Tshabron boss further said the firm has been playing active roles to try to remove Imo State from sitting atop the unemployment hierarchy in the country.
The firm is seriously creating businesses for people “who want to survive, we are appointing them Mobile money agents, MoMoagents, and with that they are into businesses that will sustain them, and sustain their families,” Okeke said stated. He called on government to partner with well-focused companies such as Tshabron Group, to reduce the ballooning unemployment numbers in the state.
Finance September 3, 2020