By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian Institute of Management, NIM, has disclosed that Nigeria’s quest for economic development will remain a mirage unless the Federal Government place emphasis on creating jobs for the youths in the country.
Speaking at the NIM Business Roundtable in Lagos, with the theme: ‘Youth Empowerment, Entrepreneurship and Innovation,’ Mr. Nelson Uwaga, President/Chairman of Council, NIM, explained that focusing on job creation for the youths will help bring about improvement in the country’s security and ensure the country’s economic development.
He said, “After all the politics, one thing that will stand out is the problems facing this country. One of such is the problem of rising unemployment. It is believed that creating more jobs for the youths will bring about improved security and national development.”
Speaking in the same vein, Mr. Christopher Kolade, Past President of the NIM and Former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, emphasized the importance of empowering the youth of the country, making them useful and making it possible for them to contribute to the development of the country.
According to him, the rhetoric of development is empty without the resources to bring the vision to reality.
He said, “Youths have an advantage, they are at the peak of their energy and they are in the best position to drive the country’s development.
“It is only people empowered to think and showcase entrepreneurial acumen that will be in the position to drive development.”
He queried the adequacy of the content and direction of the country’s educational system and the scale of reward after education, stating that education used to be the country’s main way of empowering people.
According to him, the country’s educational system is not helping young people to make the right, adding that, “we need to ask ourselves if there is something that will make our graduates innovative.”
He called on the NIM to play a leadership role in helping the country have a deeper thought on how human resources can be managed, especially in the area of youth empowerment and development.
Also speaking, Mr. Olatunji Olaniyi, a former Senior Advisor/Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Africa Business Roundtable, said the country must have clear objectives in developing youth entrepreneurship programmes, which must be followed judiciously.
According to him, developing the youths is critical and is also the hope of the country, adding that the only way the country can grow is to build the capacity of the youths and give them the necessary exposure.
He advised youths in the country not to be always concerned about accessing funding, but should instead be focused on growing whatever capital they have through innovation and sacrifice.