After much debate over classes, places to stay and other contentions – over 130 Nigerian students under the Delta State Youth Empowerment Programme in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago are now more at ease and their studies enhanced, after each received a laptop from Promotech, to assist in their research and assignments in tourism, hospitality management and entrepreneurship.
The move also pumped another U.S $300,000 dollars into the Barbados economy as the programme continue to enhance and expand to meet the needs of its student population.
“Keeping in contact with my family via Skype and social media on the laptop is great. In some parts of Nigeria, students are used to having basic materials like handouts, but learning is obviously easier with laptops, which we received last week Friday, and it saves some trees,” said Chiderra Iwuajoku, who is studying tourism and hospitality management.
Tega Paul, one of the students between ages 20 and 35, also noted the laptops’ usefulness in completing their assignments and being able to connect online with family and friends.
Paul said his stay in Barbados, which ends in November, had been “interesting” so far, as he described BIMAP as an excellent institution with helpful lecturers and facilitators.
Harrison Oyibo is also studying entrepreneurship, as he plans to open a manufacturing business featuring mainly food products; while Ahmed Akapoguodo’s choice of entrepreneurship study is an attempt to be innovative.
“So much is happening worldwide and I want to take advantage of that,” said Ahmed, noting he had “picked the brains” of BIMAP’s lecturers and facilitators, who seemed widely travelled and informed.
As for Agbe Special, his entrepreneurial study will enhance his work in his brother’s hotel office back home.
These students from Delta State are on a mission to help the oil-rich state diversify its economy, and according to Chiderra, there is a lot in Delta State still to be discovered, so going into tourism should give her and her colleagues a niche.
“In Barbados, I’ve been able to understand that tourism is not just about coming to a place and seeking what you may not have back home. It’s about gaining an experience; so besides looking around at the cultural and physical attractions, you can also take educational things back home,” added Chiderra.
“We give glory to God,” said tourism student Cynthia Benigo. “Though it was tough at first, we will be able to use what we learn from here. BIMAP has done a wonderful work.”
Promotech has also provided computers to the other Nigerian students in Trinidad and Tobago in its contribution to the Delta State Youth Empowerment Programme.
The Delta State Government, through Donna St. Hill International, has embarked on the current pilot project with Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, and has commissioned the procurement of HP Laptops, desktops and printers.