In commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, Simba Group, the exclusive distributors of TVS tricycle brands in Nigeria, has publicly presented the certificate of graduation to 30 female commercial tricycle rider’s trainees.
The empowerment initiative, which lasted for weeks, featured extensive learning curve on driving, safety precautions, basic repairs, customers’ handling and how to compete favourably in a male dominated business.
According to Mr Naved Hassan, Head of Training for Simba Group, the genders-sensitive programme was aimed at further bridging the existing gap of economic vulnerabilities of women against their men folks in the society.
After the presentation of certificates of graduation, SunTrust Bank and M.I.S.S Microfinance Bank, alongside the duo of Mr Opawole Saheed and Mr Idowu Fadipe, both Tricycle Unit Chairmen in Ikeja Central Business District, were presented to the graduands as the facilitators for their acquisition of the wheels.
While the banks are said to be ready to facilitate an interest free funding for the purchase for the ladies, the unit chairmen said theirs “would be released on Higher Purchase agreement with no throat-cutting addition to the actual capital.”
Guest speakers, including one of Nigeria’s prominent Nollywood personalities, Mrs Chioma Akpotha and Simba Group Major Distributor, Mrs Kuforiji Olubunmi (a.k.a Mama Keke) implored the graduating students to judiciously explore the intervention as their permanent breakaway from economic and financial dependence.
Akpotha stressed that women are equal to men, and can even rise much higher, encouraging them to “go forward confidently and achieve their dreams”.
Mama Keke, who narrated her bumpy ride to success in the industry, said it took purposefulness and tenacity to climb the ladder.
” Practically speaking, self-confidence got me here,” she said.
The trainees, most of whom are married with children, expressed gratitude to their benefactors through the duos of Mrs Adedoyin Ariwajoye and Mrs Adenike Yusuf.
The event culminated with Akpotha entering and driving a ‘keke’ at the Simba Training Ground, which was met with much fanfare and jubilation from the attending crowd.