I am responsible for the delay in getting this newsletter to you because I’ve just not been able to write this letter. I am genuinely at a loss for words because these past months exceeded all our expectations in such a HUGE way! It is one thing to plan an event for months and quite another to see it all come together so beautifully.
We had yet another edition of our annual National Company of the Year competition which was sponsored by FirstBank and we had first time participating school, Taidob College, Abeokuta emerge as the winners of the competition as opposed to past champion schools usually from either Lagos or Abuja. With their innovative Gas Leakage detector, we are very optimistic that they would make giant strides to defend our title as reigning champions of the Africa Company of the Year competition which would hold this year in Ghana come December.
October 4, 2019, was indeed a grand day! We had not one, not two but THREE events in one day to mark our 20th anniversary. Our first ever youth Leadership conference was a huge success thanks to the keynote speaker, Okey Enelamah, and panelists Akin Dawodu, Eme Essien, Onyeche Tifase and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji who was expertly moderated by Mojola Aderemi-Makinde. The Master Classes by Google, Stanbic IBTC, FirstBank and Sigma Pensions were fully subscribed and so popular, we had a difficult time closing out the sessions so we could kick off our second event for the day. Owing to the success of the event, we are committing to convening an annual youth leadership conference for our alumni and other young professionals.
Our awards luncheon and dinner provided the opportunity to thank and honor the individuals, schools, companies, foundations and members of government who have enabled, accelerated and amplified our success and I’m particularly grateful to our Trustee and Board members for their support. Thank you, especially to the 20th anniversary planning committee (our Committee Chair, Mr. Rufai Ladipo; Team Zapphaire; Décor by Furtullah; Agile Communications team; Mabel George of Sigma Pensions Limited; Temitope Osunrinde of Verraki Partners; Lola Oyeka of Citibank and the JAN team: Oduolayinka Osunloye, Esther Agbenla, Samuel Arowosafe and Ugonnanyere Atudume) and to our sponsors, FirstBank, Stanbic IBTC, UBA and Union Bank.
Our partnerships this period have been a major propeller of our reach, making it possible for us to continue to deliver programs that will improve the lives of Nigerians around the country. We kicked off the implementation of the JAN Career Success program Ready. Set. Boss 2.0 in partnership with Sigma Pensions Limited for members of the National Youth Service Corps; we also started the MyNaija Civics program a partnership with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group where we teach students in 25 cities across the country how to be patriotic conscientious business leaders. Furthermore, to mark the 2019 World Savings Day, we kicked off the #SaveWithJAN school tour in partnership with Citibank, Omilola Oshikoya and Rite Foods across various secondary schools to educate students on the importance of savings in line with one of our core values and I must say it has been a tremendous success so far.
We have also had an impact on our out of school youth with another batch of participants graduating from the Sasol Energy Limited sponsored JA ITS TYME program in Lagos. A remarkable success story of the program showed a mother and daughter participate and successfully complete the program which they ascribed to “have been really impactful and empowering for them.” We are grateful to Sasol Energy Limited for their consistent dedication to impacting the lives of Nigeria’s youth through the sponsorship of the JA ITS TYME program.
Applications for the 2020 edition of the Venture in Management Program (ViMP) are open! ViMP has contributed to the raising of socially conscious and outstanding business leaders, this can be confirmed as top non-profits organizations in the country are led by ViMP alums. So if you are a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), do well to sign up as it promises to be a career-defining experience.
We have looked back at our journey these past 20 years and with great enthusiasm and exciting new partners, we are ready for the next 20 years and beyond. I would like to say a big thank you to our Board Members, Partners-in-Development, Donors and Sponsors, Volunteers, Schools, Teachers and Students for the support which has propelled the progress we have recorded thus far and as we step boldly into the future, I encourage you all to come along with us to impact the lives of Nigeria’s youth!