Experts from various sectors have advocated entrepreneurial education from primary to tertiary levels to empower graduates with the skills and knowledge to be self-reliant and contribute meaningfully to the country’s economic development.
They observed that the current approach to education was not healthy for self-reliance and the economic growth of the country as many products of institutions of learning have the orientation of taking paid employment after their studies.
The experts spoke at the entrepreneurial education summit 2022, organised by Tongston Holdings, an organisation with focus on promoting the area, held in Abuja on Thursday.
Tongston Holdings also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gombe State University and Skills Outside School Foundation, Abuja to promote entrepreneurial education.
The chief executive officer of Tongston Holdings, Bello Tongo, said entrepreneurial thinking is key not only to achieving employment but also starting up businesses and must be embraced by all schools.
He said Tongston has a model which emphasised integrating education, business, media, and finance together which is the best way entrepreneurship can be achieved, and called on government and other school operators to adopt the model.
Also speaking, Nasir Modibbo, the director of centre for entrepreneurship, Gombe State University, said the summit was timely because the education system in Nigeria is in crisis at all levels going by the current method of teaching that is akin to ‘garbage in garbage out’.
Modibbo said, “The crisis in the education sector is very enormous because right from primary school, secondary and tertiary institutions, the manner in which we teach, honestly is a kind of traditional approach. We only teach the students or read out notes to the students and at the end of the day, we expect them to give us what we give them without adding some innovations, creativity, and some kind of smartness.
On her part, the director of Skills Outside School Maureen Chukuemeka while emphasising the importance of entrepreneurial education said: “we take the students through a series of programmes, some of them are entrepreneurship programmes, life skills programmes, career awareness.”
In a presentation, Zulkifi Abba, an energy and project finance expert said medium and small enterprises are key drivers of the economy in Nigeria and Africa which demonstrates the continent’s entrepreneurial spirit.
He, however, observed that: “The most noteworthy obstacle to MSMEs’ growth is the lack of the requisite business competencies Knowledge, skill, and acumen to effectively manage enterprises, as well as a lack of process, and corporate structure.”