Federal Government targets employment with knowledge-based economy initiative
• Unveils Entrepreneurship Accelerated Programme
The Federal Government is working to address the challenge of unemployment in the country by producing many entrepreneurs that are going to be the beneficiaries of policies, strategies, and interventions.
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, who disclosed this while inaugurating the MIT- REAP Advisory Committee in Abuja, on Monday, noted that the nation’s economy cannot develop by relying on natural resources only, and government needs to come up with policies, strategies, and programs that will support the knowledge-based economy.
Consequently, Pantami said Nigeria needs to focus more on producing entrepreneurs. He stressed that juxtaposing the total number of graduates and the limited employment opportunities available in the country, it will be discovered that the best strategy is to focus on producing entrepreneurs, which is the only way out.
“Only last week, I read that 1.9 million students are going to sit for JAMB examination when they graduate, let’s assume one million get admitted into university; let’s assume that 800,000 graduate on time, where are you going to accommodate graduates of only one year. As you know in Nigeria, we have a huge challenge at hand that is the issue of unemployment. Students are graduating every day, many are being admitted into our universities but job vacancies are very limited, some graduates 15 years ago, and still they are in the labour market, some 10 years ago, and they are still in the labour market. I had a discussion with Head of Service, I asked what is the total number of civil servants in Nigeria, she said it is around 77,000, including those who spent 34 years in service, the total number is around 77,000, now by implication, if you admit this number, you are going to have 800,000 to one million graduates, where are you going to accommodate them?”.
Pantami noted that the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Accelerated Programme provides opportunities for communities around the world to engage with MIT in an evidence based, practical approach to strengthening innovation driven entrepreneurial ecosystems.
He explained that the Abuja team will focus more in the FCT, trying to build an innovation ecosystem, which impact should not be restricted only to Abuja, “it is supposed to be in each and every state of the Federation, so this is just like may be our area where we concentrate but in the process, we want to ensure that whatever we achieve now is going to be extended to other parts of the country because our mandate is not restricted to only one city or town and that is why we have FCT Minister as our chief host.”