…Awakens spirits of true Nigerian Entrepreneurs
By Prince Osuagwu
For over twelve hours, Tuesday last week, Zinox Technologies, through its Computerize Nigeria project, held thousands of Nigerian youths spell bound at the Abuja International Conference Centre on a programme it tagged, Spirit of True Nigerian Entrepreneur, SoTNE.
The event was the company’s contribution to creating jobs in the country by raising true entrepreneurs out of millions of job seeking Nigerian youths. The programme was wrapped around the theme: “Creating Wealth with Integrity in 21st Century Nigeria”
To do this, the company invited an international multi platform wizkid in developing, managing and directing business, Mr Walter Kny, who is also the CEO of World eBooks Library.
Walter dissected issues surrounding leadership, Entrepreneurship, Globalisation and change management in his lecture titled Entrepreneurship 101 and opportunities for Nigerians in the knowledge economy.
Besides the few tricks in entrepreneurship that Walter taught the participants, Nigeria’s computer wizkid, and Chairman Zinox Technologies, Mr Leo-Stan Ekeh, was also handy to provide first-hand experience on the pains, betrayals and pleasures of a true Nigerian entrepreneur.
He however, made a shocking revelation that with the level of transformation Information and Communications Technology was bringing about, the present poor families in Nigeria would be the tomorrow’s billionaires, at least in the next 20 years.
The event which started about 8 am, lasted up till 7.30 pm with notable dignitaries like the Director General National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Prof. Cleopas Angaye, Former Minister of Commerce and Industries, Chief Charles Ugwu, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu, among thousands of youths, school children and other participants sitting tight, savouring the lectures till the end.
In his goodwill message at the event, Prof Angaye commended the organisers for a modest contribution towards developing entrepreneurship spirit and arresting the current high level of unemployment in Nigeria.
Angaye lamented the inability of school curriculae at all levels of education in Nigeria to make adequate provision for graduates to be able to start their own businesses upon graduation which is why the graduates all come out to become seekers of jobs, adding to the ever increasing unemployment market which currently stands at about 19.7% in the country.
According to him, “ any effort aimed at arresting the obvious challenge of job creation will definitely be supported by us and this is demonstrated in my personal presence at this occasion today.
On the part of the Federal Government, efforts are being made to create jobs with the newly completed master plan that have already been approved by the present administration in Nigeria. However, the uniqueness of SoTNE in the sense that it has to do with the use of technology to create job and wealth that can develop sustainable entrepreneur in the country is of particular interest to me. It is obvious that Information Technology, IT, has become a critical factor in economic growth and development. It is increasingly becoming responsible for the creation of majority of jobs throughout the world”.
He noted that with IT, people can be exposed to borderless employment opportunities, global competitiveness and create wealth for them and the nation as a whole.
“India began a program of training her youths in IT specialization some years back, the country currently produces nothing less than 115,000 engineers annually. To a large extent, this has contributed to the development of people starting small business thereby making them self sufficient and increasing their annual revenue for the country.
“Computerize Nigeria has decided to begin this initiative by developing One Thousand (1,000) Budding Entrepreneurs in the country, if all stakeholders can decide to take their own chunk, our story will definitely be different tomorrow.
“On our own part, NITDA has started various initiatives aimed at creating jobs and making our graduates self sufficient especially through various training programmes aimed at developing globally competitive Human capital in core areas of information technology, The Outsourcing programme and proposed IT Park and Software development centres are also major initiatives that could enhance entrepreneurship development, self sustenance and veritable source of income for the country”.
Giving his lectures, Walter advised the youths and potential entrepreneurs to play to the rules of having own ideas, taking actions, putting energy into it and remaining disciplined.
He noted that many entrepreneurs fail because they have big talk, zero walk;all ideas, no implementation; millionaire mindset, passion gap; poor fundermentals; poor management, lack of capital, lack of planning, vision gap, lack of flexibility and obssession with just one dream.
He advised that the way to get out of such situation was for entrepreneurs to learn how to manage: frustration, handle rejection, handle financial pressure, handle complacency and learn how to give more than he is expected to receive.
Ekeh in his own lecture lamented that since givernment has obviously not created any genuine platform for any entreprenuer to succeed, even though they have been trying their best, it was time that true Nigerian entreprenuers looked inwards to harness their raw talents and put into good use.
“to be an entreneur in this environment, you must look around you and turn every available time into good use, make the first move and put all actions into it. If you are of marriage age, you must get somebody that can assist you in achieving your dreams”