Sunday, August 4, 2019 11:47 am
Mantu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Abuja that beauty professionals were making “massive sacrifices’’ to make people look nice and acceptable in the society.
“The barber, hair stylist or manicurist stand on their feet for hours just to make us beautiful; they deserve respect. No one should see them as menial jobbers,’’ Mantu told NAN.
He spoke after he was sworn in as Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), of the National Association of Barbers and Cosmetologists Employers of Nigeria (NABCEN).
Also sworn in was Mr Barile Ngbobu, an American-trained cosmetologist, as National President, Omite Dimez, Vice President; Greg Abwar, Financial Secretary; Fatima Momoh, Treasurer; Nicole Balewa, Publicity Secretary, and Ikenna Olelewe, Organising Secretary.
The officials are to serve a four-year renewable term.
Mantu, who said that the beauty industry was a “multi-million dollar business second only to ICT’’, also cautioned Nigerians against seeing make-up artists, hair stylists or other beauty experts as uneducated.
“The notion that these professionals are mostly illiterates is false. A lot of them went to high schools and were trained to practice their professions.
“There are also many others, who have graduated from universities but opted to specialise in some of these professions just out of passion or a desire to serve and contribute to societal growth.
“Rather than see and treat NABCEN members with disrespect, we crave more respect for them because they make massive sacrifices to make people look beautiful, presentable and acceptable,’’ he said.
Mantu, son of Sen Nasir Mantu, former Deputy Senate President, said that NABCEN was an umbrella body for many professions in the beauty industry including barbers, hairdressers, make-up artists, manicurists, pedicurists, among others.
He said that the professionals decided to form a strong united body to improve their services and seek areas of expansion to strengthen the beauty industry and open more job opportunities for youths Nigerians
Mantu said that the association had “close to 20 million members’’, stressing that it would leverage on that strength to seek loans for members to enable them explore available technology to boost their activities and engage more hands
He said that the association had opened discussions with the Bank of Industry, Development Bank of Nigeria and other outfits offering low interest loan facilities to enable members purchase 5 KVA solar-powered generating plants to mitigate the instability in electricity supply.
“We want salons that can take five to six chairs to access this off-grid facility so that the epileptic electricity supply in the country will not affect their activities and income.
“We are discussing with a Switzerland electricity outfit for the supply of the facility. The goal is to assist members to get the soft loans so as to purchase the power generating sets.
“The repayment will be spread across months to minimise pressure,’’ he explained.
He said that the association was also keen on sanitising the beauty industry in view of the perception that its activities were capable of spreading diseases, adding that periodic trainings were being organised to ensure that.
Mantu called on members to make more sacrifices for the growth of the union, and expressed optimism that the society would reap bountifully from the activities of a united and strong beauty industry.
Ngbobu, who also spoke with NAN, thanked former labour minister Chris Ngige for facilitating the registration of the association in 2017, saying that the official certification had empowered NABCEN to unite all practitioners in the beauty industry.
“The legal certification has empowered us to come together to explore the vast potentials in this ever growing industry.
“One in every five Nigerians has something to do with the beauty industry either as a barber, hair stylist or manicurist. These professionals provide a lot of jobs and contribute massively to the economy.
“We cannot hold government responsible for creating jobs for everyone. No law says that. All we want government to do is to give us the enabling environment to encourage industrialists, philanthropists, and others, to create jobs.
“As a union, we want to help our members to expand their outfits and employ more youths so as to take them off the streets and minimise restiveness,’’ he said.
The president, however, said that the association was in need of more funds to meet the challenge of supporting members to explore the vast market in Nigeria.
“We are also working toward sanitising and regulating the beauty industry so as to cleanse it of quacks that are giving it a bad name,’’ he said