(A cross section of participants at a 2-day stakeholders’s workshop for collaborators in entrepreneurship development organised by NOUN CESLL ended in Kaduna on Wednesday 03-05-2017)
//Shola O, Kaduna Northwest Nigeria//
If Nigeria will address current massive youth unemployment which many have described as time bomb, Nigerian government and other critical stakeholders must give top priority to entrepreneurial development, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies and Lifelong Learning, National Open University, Professor Grace Joktham has said.
The varsity don, who was addressing a cross section of participants at a 2-day stakeholders’ workshop for collaborators in entrepreneurship development yesterday in Kaduna said, it has become necessary to structurally adjusted the university’s programmes from learning into big time practical by a way of making young entrepreneurs which it has been committed to since past two years the initiative started.
Chief Executive Officer of Kaduna-based Magvoil Vocational Training Centre who himself is a youth and part of the collaborators at the workshop however called on government and other stakeholders, to provide enabling environment for young entrepreneurs to operate by way of making soft loan available to them and policies that will help them market their products.
According to Professor Grace, “it is not easy to provide some of the training materials and consumables required for the training. We have been assisted by world Bank in terms of training materials. But we need consumables these are few of the challenges we faced.
“The management of NOUN under the Vice Chancellor of this great citadel of learning, Professor Amdalla Uba Adamu, is committed to entrepreneurial development which incidentally part of the vision of this administration.
“We have been thinking on how to address the unemployment and see that we can actually do to address it because we are present in each state of the federation. We are moving from theoretical aspect to practical and we are making progress as we have already made some notable entrepreneurs. We believe there is always room for improvement and that is why we are bringing stakeholders together”.
On her expectations at the end of the workshop she said, “we want to create entrepreneurs that will put value ahead of money. I want to raise people that will want to head this generation.
“We need people that will provide solutions in terms of creating positive mindset and in terms of capital development to feed the gaps we have in the country.
“We need people that will provide quality skills and be able to gainfully employed and provide employment for others so that majority of people roaming our streets can then be productively engaged”, she added.
In a remark, Special Assistant to Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Job Creation, Afiz Bayero told the gathering that, the state government has reason to interact with NOUN because the institution has made it possible for the state government to conducted need training for her teachers.
He also hinted that about 16,000 young men and women are undergoing construction training in order to provide the state with readily available workforce in construction instead of traveling to other states before getting professional builders quickly added that, the development is another way of reducing unemployment in the country.
“NOUN has done so much in the past two years from moving from learning to creating centre which is germane to the country at this crucial time and all hands must be on deck to make the process a huge success”, added El-Rufai’s aide added.
Some of the participants at the workshop include representatives from financial institutions, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), National University Commission (NUC), Nigeria Youths Chambers of Commerce, successful entrepreneurs, academia, National University Commission (NUC) among others.