Youth empowerment, entrepreneurship and creating business incubation hubs and skills acquisition centres for Nigeria’s teeming youths have been identified as keys in igniting a social change and economic development in Nigeria.
This was the focus of a one-day round table discussion on “Renewed Hope” manifesto dubbed: “Race to 2023: Consolidating grounds through the Sights & Sounds of the Renewed Hope” as adopted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in Abuja at the weekend.
Most of the panelists stressed the need for Nigerians to understand the realities in practice of some critical components of the “Renewed Hope” manifesto of Asiwaju, as the provision for youth empowerment and entrepreneurship and to encourage commercial banks to simplify the process of obtaining loans/capital for the youths with marketable ideas.
“Another premise of the renewed hope is also creating business incubation hubs and skills acquisition centers. There is no way we are going forward if our youth don’t have skills to make them employable or to make them self-employed. Skills are the way to go, it is not about the paper qualification.
“Yes, it is good to go to school and have degrees but can your degrees solve the problems in society? So, we are trying to see that we want to have youth that are employable who can look at the problems we are having in the society and use their knowledge and skills to solve those problems. We don’t have to wait for others to come from outside and solve our problems or manufacture things for us or the gadgets that we need.
“Once we have a lot of SMEs the economy will start being boosted and a lot of jobs will be created. Then our students who are graduating don’t have to go looking for white collar jobs,’’ the panelists said.
Discussants, such as a lecturer from Kaduna State University Suwaiba Shehu Ibrahim, special adviser to Kano State governor on rural and communities development, Dr Ibrahim Gaya, Umar Sani Macho industrialist based in Kano, Dr Clement Otu, and Ambassador Segun Olugbile said with renewed hope, the private sector is looking forward to seeing how they are going to collaborate with the government, being the highest employer of labour and the mover of the economy.
“So, we want to see the manifesto and the programme designed for the industrial and business community and see how we can have collaboration with the incoming government after the election,” they said.