Youths charged on entrepreneurship to reduce unemployment
Young people have been advised to take up skills in agriculture and telecommunication, especially leveraging on the Internet space (social media) to boost the economy. This will further help them become independent and employers of labour.
This charge was made at a workshop organised by Rise Network at the University of Lagos, Akoka with the theme, “The road to 2030: Eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable production and consumption”, to celebrate the United Nations International youth day.
With sessions taken by professionals from diverse fields and industry, young people were also encouraged to ensure that they engage in partnerships to boost their businesses and help them rise.
Governor of Ondo state, Olusegun Mimiko, on his blueprint to successful youth development noted that it is the responsibility of every government to put in place massive investment in knowledge, education and industrial development. “Structures should be put in place to ensure that human and capital resources thrive; there is need to also invest in agriculture, which will not only put food on our table, but also provide jobs for our teeming youths.”
Speaking on engaging in multiple streams of skills and income as survival strategies, Aisha Ahmad, Group head, consumer banking and wealth creation, Diamond bank and chairperson of the governing council of WIMBIZ, said, “Poverty is not lack of wealth in the world but equitable distribution; according to a survey by Forbes, 85 people control the wealth of 3.5 billion people and so we have to create value and earn the right to gain such wealth.
“With 41 per cent of Nigeria’s population unemployed, following the rise in dollars, fallen oil price, people losing jobs by the day and hunger in the land, it makes the year a bad one but then this is the best time to take up a career because there are opportunities in every problem. The Internet is at our fingertips for use; the 21st century technology is giving us the opportunity to do things beyond boundaries. It was in the past one is physically needed to conduct transactions, today you and your employer don’t need to be in the same location and so it is important for everyone to have a social media presence.”
Joy Isi Bewaji, Columnist and TV/radio host who spoke on the relevance of skills acquisition or formal education to the future of youths challenged the young people to be inquisitive as that is the only way true development can occur. “I have a big grouse with the baby boomers because the abject poverty, unemployment and a dysfunctional society is the inheritance they have left for today’s youths. And so, there are some social norms we should begin to question today, we can only get it right by knowing where we are coming from and what has led to the issues we face in the society today.”
President of Chocolate city entertainment group, Audu Maikori noted that until we understand that together we can do it better, the country will not move forward. “Leveraging on being co-founders in an economy where resources is limited is the only way develop. We should collaborate, rather than compete with one another.
“There is a huge opportunity in the creative sector; there are so many talented people but they do not have the opportunity and so we have signed an MOU with the Kaduna state government to have the first ever creative and media city in Nigeria to help creative young people harness their skills.”
Nkemdilim Begho who is the founder, Future software resources, said, “By 2040, 50 per cent of the youths in Africa will be younger, we need to look at what technology can do for us. Most African countries have a lot of investment in technology and entrepreneurship and it contributes to 60 per cent of GDP, but it is not the same here in Nigeria. That is why I was saddened when President Buhari scrapped the ICT ministry and plunged it back to communications. As young people, regardless of what you are taught in school, you need to base on the knowledge from technology to become great and successful,” she added.