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Entrepreneurship Key To Nigeria’s Economic Growth – Experts

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Economic experts have said entrepreneurship is very essential for economic growth and development of the country, noting that the future of the nation’s economy lies in Entrepreneurial skills.

According to the registrar, Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria (ICA), Professor Chris Onalo, entrepreneurship is the foundation of any developed nation and that for Nigeria to reap the full benefits of a dynamic and evolving economy, it needs to overcome entrenched social, financial and political hurdles. He also said that the government must increasingly work to improve the ease of doing business by developing and implementing more pro-market policies and make the entire business environment more attractive to investors.

He also said improvements and reforms in education and international participation are crucial for the country to shake off its third world heritage and achieve full breadth of its economic potential.

A former World Bank Vice President, Africa Region, Oby Ezekwesili, stated that investment in human capital, not oil, will drive Nigeria’s economic growth.

Ezekwesili, who was a former minister of Education and 2019 presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN),  harped on the need for human capital development via investment in education, which she described as the new oil.

Productivity and competitiveness, she said, have to improve if the economy must grow, adding that this can only be achieved through human capital development.

She urged young entrepreneurs not to accept the status quo but to rise up to the challenge of redirecting the economy by creating more opportunities for mentorship of aspiring entrepreneurs so that, together, we can move the nation in the right direction.

Finance expert, Mr. Peter Osalor, said Nigeria has the largest domestic market in Africa, a wide range of natural resources and a diversely skilled labour pool. To this end, he said, the country must constantly create new jobs, and diversify the industrial and commercial sector to take advantage of human and natural resources. The entrepreneurial activities have been found to be capable of making impact on the economy of a nation and quality of life of the people through economic growth; employment generation and empowerment of the disadvantaged segment of the population, which include women and the poor, he stressed. Entrepreneurial development, he stated, will encourage entrepreneurs to create new enterprises, new commercial activities, and new economic sectors, as they will generate jobs for others; produce goods and services for society; introduce new technologies and improve or lower cost out puts; and earn foreign exchange through export expansion or the substitution of imports.

Philanthropist and Nollywood actor, Williams Uchemba explained that skill acquisition and entrepreneurship are the way to go in a country where getting a job is like rocket science.

He said: “There are 23.4million unemployed youths in Nigeria. Out of the 500,000 young people that graduates from the University every year in Nigeria, less than 10% of that number eventually get a job. One of the major ways to deal with the unemployment rate in Nigeria is not only by Job creation,  it also needs Entrepreneurship through Human capital Development. The degree certificate is not enough these days, thus graduate needs new skills set to survive.”

Managing director, Poise Graduate Finishing Academy, Asher Adeniyi called for the adoption of vocational and technical skills in tertiary institutions to prepare young graduates for employment, while bridging the gap between the knowledge acquired from the academic institutions and the demands of the workplace.

Also, the managing director, Human Resource, Chellarams Plc, Fred Nduka lamented lack of employable skills in graduating students, saying the skills are the determining factors of whether they succeed or fail in and outside the workplace.

He said embracing vocational and technical skills is one way of dealing with the unemployment issue in the country, stressing that the education system curriculum does not encourage skill acquisition, training and development, which would make graduates employable after their tertiary education.

The co-founder and vice president of Fate Foundation, Austin Okere,  said: “I believe that it is through entrepreneurship that we can accelerate job creation and national development. There is no better time than now to seriously consider and undertake your own entrepreneurial journeys. The immense support systems available today cannot be overemphasised.”

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