By Oboh Agbonkhese
THE general consensus by panellists at a workshop organised in Lagos by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, on the platform of NECAPreneur was that entrepreneurship is the leeway to liberating millions of unemployed Nigerians from joblessness.
It was the view that the private sector should take ownership of entrepreneurial training, while parents provide guidance and leave their children to realise their potentials without undue influence.
The panellists, comprising technocrats, academics and other stakeholders, agreed that the countries whose economies we envy thrive on entrepreneurship.
NECAPreneur, launched last year, is an e-solution targeted at providing easy-to-access opportunity for youths, undergraduates and the unemployed to upscale and upgrade their skills, business planning, with provisions for mentorship.
Panellists at the event, moderated by Mr. Tayo Olosunde, Executive Director, Mind the Gap Innovation Hub, were Seyi Ladejobi, Head, Micro-Enterprises Start-Up Department, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF; Dr. Felicia Adeyemo of Caleb University; Dr. Yomi Adebisi, University of Lagos; Dr. Jerome Nyameh, Taraba State University; Mrs. Rukevwe Olughor, Augustine University; Dr. Ademola Aderogba, Lagos State Polytechnic and Dr. Fakorede, Crawford University.
One of the other entrepreneurship-friendly schemes hyped by the panellists was LSETF’s provision of funds to grow business and its employability programme, where it conducts research, identifies skill gaps and offer training.
The fund also gives out loans at an interest rate of five per cent, with over 8,000 beneficiaries recorded.
Speaking, Dr. Adebisi, explained that in University of Lagos, there is an incubator hub, where new business ideas by young entrepreneurs are warehoused, helped to grow into fruition and entrepreneurship training helping to create new opportunities, ensuring that graduates no longer join the queue of job seekers.
He noted that content is key and UNILAG will partner with NECA on the NECAPreneur programme as students need to learn, unlearn and re-learn, pointing out that “as an entrepreneur, the first thing is not to make money, but to create value.”
Earlier, Mr. Peter Aire, the Project Manager, told the young entrepreneurs at the event that learning is not complete without entrepreneurship, pointing out that National Bureau of Statistics, revealed in 2016 that over 29 million Nigerians were unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Explaining how the e-learning NECApreneuer works, Mrs Anna Oyebanjo, CEO of Imagine Business Services, the training’s technical support provider, said it is in three stages, carefully designed to ensure participants get hands-on training, face-to-face interaction with entrepre-neurs and internship with a certificate awarded at the end of training.