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Motivating Artisans, Apprentices for Higher Productivity

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As unemployment rate continues to soar in Nigeria due to abandonment of tools of trade by some class of workers, the Deeper Christian Life Ministry has organised programmes to make artisans and tradesmen get more interest in their trades for higher productivity, James Sowole reports

It is a known fact that unemployment remains one of the major problems confronting Nigeria as a nation today. The joblessness of many people in the productive age has been blamed for many criminal activities and social vices in the country today, in tandem with the popular saying that “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop”.

Various reasons have been adduced for the high prevalence of unemployment in the country, particularly among the youths of different classes of educational qualifications. One of the reasons for the prevalence was the preference of many youths for white collar jobs irrespective of the nature of their certificates and courses of study when in tertiary institutions.

Other Dimension
Another dimension of the problem of unemployment was the abandonment of tools of trade by artisans for fast daily money-making ventures, the most common of which is the riding of commercial motorcycle popularly called “okada”, and which had constituted traffic nuisance in many major cities across the country.

Worried by the negative activities of the commercial motorcycle, many state governments had banned the operation of the mode of transport in certain towns particularly in state capitals. The banning of the operators of the commercial motorcycle to some people had also compounded the unemployment problems in the country.

Futile Policies
Over the years, stakeholders at various levels of government federal, state and local government had initiated various policies and programmes aimed at addressing the problem.
Also educational curricula at various levels are being adjusted frequently to cope with reality of addressing problems of education to the extent that various tertiary institutions were being made to take courses in entrepreneur and vocational studies before they graduated.

In spite of these measures however, the problems still persist as graduates are being turned out every day from various institutions without with any hope of getting them engaged.

Private Initiatives
Equally, many individuals and organisations including religious bodies had involved themselves in various programmes aimed at training youths with various educational qualifications in diverse skills including agriculture, which are capable of making them self-employed rather than looking for government employment that are not even in place.

The Deeper Christian Life Ministry (DCLM) is one of the religious organisations that felt the issue of unemployment should not be left for the government alone in view of its effect on the generality of the society.
The Church, in its quest to contribute to fashion out ways to reduce unemployment, therefore organised a programme tagged ‘Prosperity Formula for Apprentice and Artisans’ at the auditorium of the Akure Regional Headquarters located at the Ondo State capital.

The publicity given to the programme made it attractive not only to members of the church but people who do not practice Christian religion as the event provided avenue to people from various strata of the society to listen to experts in various fields on how to make their trades better and generate more income from them.

Setting the Tone
Since the programme was organised by a religious organisation and Deeper Christian Life Bible Church for that matter, it commenced with the normal singing and prayer session to prepare participants for the spiritual aspect of the event.
Three papers were delivered at the event by experts that made the event participatory using relevant portions of the Holy Bible to drive home their points on the need for human being to rely on what they can use their hands to do for them to succeed in life and be prosper, which will thereby deliver them from poverty.

While a retired director in the Ondo State Ministry of Adult, Technical and Vocational Studies, Pastor Joseph Adeniran Adeseluku delivered a paper titled ‘Breakthrough and Success Through Godliness for Apprentices and Artisans’, Pastor Michael Idowu Fasuyi, a land surveyor, delivered a paper on ‘True Success and Prosperity’ and Mr. Bisi Ayeni lectured participants on ‘Legal Issues In Artisanship’.
One of the beauties of the event was that the deliveries were done in both English and Yoruba languages, which make comprehension better for those that attended.

Gesture of Concern
The State Overseer of the Church, Pastor Kayode Oguntuyi, represented by the Coordinator, Pastor Oladipo Fayose, explained that the church organised the programme out of their concern that many employable youths are not doing anything; not because there is absolutely nothing for them to do but because many of them did not know the opportunities available in what they are doing.

Oguntuyi said it was disturbing that artisans and tradesmen are now being invited from neighbouring countries to do what those who learnt the trade in Nigeria should be doing. He lamented that Nigeria became importer of labour because many of those who learnt the trade have abandoned their tools and took to commercial motorcycle riding, which he said has time limit.
The state overseer said while it easier for one to practice his trade or handwork even at old age, the same thing cannot be said of the okada riding which one cannot do at old age.

He said it was in realisation that not everybody can get white collar job while unemployment rate keep on rising by the day that many tertiary institutions have designed various entrepreneurship training programmes and make it compulsory that each student must undergo training in at least one of the vocational studies.

The pastor added that the government, in its long term plan to make people creative and possibly be self employed, had added many vocational subjects to the curriculum of secondary schools and which must be taken as certificate level by students.
Oguntuyi noted that the programme was a pioneer one which was for general artisans and apprentices. He said the church in subsequent edition would organise training for specific artisans at different days whereby they would be trained in better ways to practice their trades.

Vital Motivation
Citing specific Bible verses to drive home their points, the duo of Adeseluku and Fasuyi noted that not everybody had the capacity to go through tertiary education as every human being was created with specific talent and creative ability.
Speaking motivationally, Adesuluku highlighted ten points that are necessary for one to be successful in life and make his or her chosen carrier or trade buoyant. He said the most important thing is for every individual to discover him or herself and discover which talent they had been endowed with and develop it adding that every human being had been given a special thing but which may not be discovered.

He said by the time one discovers himself and his talent and by the time he tries to make use of the talent in a positive way, everybody would just be watching and seeing him as an extra-ordinary person.
The speaker therefore urged the people to pray and make moves in order to identify what God has called them to do as done by various people in the Bible.

Adesuluku said knowing the job inside out, innovation, proper time management, good packaging, financial management and good human relations are some of the necessary things that artisans must know when practicing their trades.
He said many artisans lose their customers because they are not honest and don’t know how to relate with their clients just as some people do not want to learn new ways of doing things and which make them to be old fashioned in what they are doing.

To cap it all, Adesuluku advised participants to have the fear of God in what they are doing and how they relate with their customers, saying cheating does not make one more successful than others as nemesis will catch up one day.
Speaking on legal issues relating to artisanship practice, a legal practitioner, Ayeni said a very common issue is the membership of specific trade associations urging tradesmen to be wary of how to relate with these groups.
He noted that there are some advantages and benefits derivable in being a member of any association; one is at liberty to belong to any association as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
While citing various instances of the good and the bad side of some trade associations, Ayeni advised artisans to look well and consider certain things before joining any of the associations.

Useful Lessons
At the end of the programme, participants were full of praises to the organisers of the seminar. Mr. Adekunle Adewunmi, said though he had not been attending the church, he heard about the programme on the media which made him attend adding that what he had learnt would definitely enhance his trade.

Adewunmi, a welder, said when he first heard about the programme, he thought it was just a usual prayer programme but was surprised when facilitators started teaching them, adding that everything said was just like somebody had come to report him as the whole thing just sank into his brain.

Also appreciating the Church for the programme, Mrs. Ruth Oguntula said what he had learned would no doubt enhance the way she practices her tailoring business. Oguntula said she would definitely attend the subsequent programmes that would be on skill basis.

Article Credit: This Day News

Updated 5 Years ago

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