Youth entrepreneurial acquisition and national development
From their respective phenomenal exuberant dispositions, youths are naturally known for bubbling in ideas, creativity and could be adventurous. These attributes normally position them to unearth hidden treasures.
It therefore becomes worrisome that these youths are being made to be idle, in an environment that could have otherwise engaged them gainfully.
Indeed, the current high level of unemployment among these young Nigerians calls for urgent action on the part of the government.
Some analysts have even called for a state of emergency to address the unsavoury situation
Though various governments in time past have tried solving the seeming complicated puzzles of unending unemployment of youths in the country, the situation still remained unresolved, Perhaps that’s why the new government of the day has decided to end this unending crisis by putting measures in place to tackle the menace by focusing on empowering youths with entrepreneurship skills needed for personal development.
Indeed, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is of the opinion that addressing the challenge of providing critical mass of modern entrepreneurs the Nigerian economy needs, government must pursue a clear policy on entrepreneurship development.
According to him, the Federal Government has already mapped out strategies to come out with a National policy on entrepreneurship development in 2016.
While speaking in Abuja at a youth employment summit, which was aimed at addressing youth unemployment in the country, Osinbajo said that government has come to the realization that the ad-hoc and uncoordinated entrepreneurship development programmes it inherited from previous administration cannot not meaningfully address the challenge of providing a critical mass of modern entrepreneurs the economy needs.
To this end, he disclosed that government will in 2016 come up with a National Policy on Entrepreneurship Development to address this problem adding that this will provide a framework that will guide all stakeholders and ultimately pave way for emergence of critical mass of entrepreneurs to jump start the economy and create mass employment.
The Vice President who stated this through the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi (SAN), noted that previous administrations initiated a number of interventions to address the unemployment problem such as the People’s Bank, Community Banks which were not sustainable enough to address the root cause of unemployment, stressing that most of these interventions only ended up scratching the surface.
Besides, he maintained that the current administration is conscious of the fact that the backbone and driving force of contemporary economic growth is the presence of entrepreneurs stressing that these are economic agents who create continuous streams of wealth and jobs through innovative investment in several sectors of the economy.
He assured that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to confronting unemployment head-on and reversing the trend.
His words: “Already, the Federal government has taken a number of measures to address the unemployment problem in the country. In line with this determination, the hitherto Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity has been renamed Federal Ministry of labour and Employment. This was done to place job creation at the front burner and to reposition the ministry to effectively address employment creation.”
The Vice President further affirmed that in furtherance of this objective, he directed the National Planning Commission (NPC) to include job creation as the 8th priority programme under the economic policy trust of this administration adding that this is done so as to place employment at the heart of economic and social policies and achieve a growth path that is employment intensive.
In designing strategies to track employment creation, he said that the current administration is taking cognizance of the fact that a strategy is much likely to be successful if it anticipates in future in requirements rather than reacting to them.
“The challenge before government is to anticipate future labour supply and strategize proactively to match it with demand by facilitating structured changes in the proactive sector of the economy,” he noted.
In avoiding pitfalls of past approaches, Osinbajo pointed out that the present administration is guided by the need to start on a sound footing by providing stakeholders with a framework that will guide all seeking to address the issue of employment and employability of Nigerians.
While disclosing efforts put in place to addressing the challenges of youth unemployment in Nigeria, Osinbajo revealed that the on-going review of the National Employment Policy will focus on youth employment.
He said: “The Federal Government has taken a number of measures to address the challenges of unemployment in line with the determination of avoiding pitfalls of past approaches, the Federal ministry of Labour and Employment has been directed to quickly conclude on-going review of the National Employment Policy with focus on youth employment.”
The Vice President stressed that the ad-hoc and uncoordinated entrepreneurship development in which the present administration inherited cannot meaningfully address the challenges of providing a critical mass of modern entrepreneurs for the economy.
“To address these challenges, the Federal Government will in 2016 come up with a National Policy on Entrepreneurship Development. This will provide a framework that will guide all stakeholders and ultimately pave way for emergence of critical mass of entrepreneurs to jump start the economy and create mass employment,” he explained.
Speaking further, Osinbajo emphasized that inclusive and sustainable growth will not be possible if millions of people are denied opportunity to earn a living in environment of equity and dignity.
“For countries at all levels of development, an adequate supply of jobs is the foundation of sustained and growing prosperity, inclusion and social cohesion. Where jobs are scarce there is less growth, less security and less human and economic development,” he stressed.
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