•Says entrepreneurship only solution to unemployment
•Ibukun Awosika, Alajika, others speak at Ondo unemployment summit
Dayo Johnson Akure
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has said his administration is determined to push the people of the state out of poverty and unemployment through entrepreneurship knowledge economy, innovation and technology.
Akeredolu added that ” is ready to invest more in entrepreneurship development and provision of grants for startups and those badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He spoke at the Inaugural Unemployment Summit held at Akure, the state capital
Speakers at the summit include Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Apostle Folorunso Alakija, Pastor (Mrs) Funke Felix Adejumo and founder of Africa’s Leadership University, Fred Swaniker.
Akeredolu explained that the letter ‘D’ in his second term agenda which is simply encapsulated in the acronym ‘REDEEMED’ stands for Digital Revolution and Entrepreneurship.
He noted that the digital revolution and Entrepreneurship is not just an agenda but his passion to see that the unemployment rate in the state is reduced.
“Unarguably, we have come to the point of deliberating extensively as a State to take actions to tackle this problem of unemployment once and for all.
“We have always been concerned that the only enduring solutions to the unemployment issues are for our youths to embrace entrepreneurial development.
“This type of Summit is not the first in Nigeria, but it is significant because of the peculiarity of the seasons we are in as a country and because we have decided to refer to it as ‘Unemployment Summit’ and not employment summit, as we would rather address the problem first before the solution.
“You will recall that our State had hitherto been known and referred to as a Civil Service State.
“The little Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) we get is recycled around the public service and our capacity to generate more IGR was limited.
“We observe that keeping the civil service culture, in no time, the state will be in chaos hence the birth of the Ondo State Entrepreneurship Development Agency (ONDEA) for Poverty Eradication, Job Creation and Economic Development,” Arakunrin Akeredolu said.
The Governor said ONDEA was birthed with the mandate to create a master plan for massive job creation in the State, foster economic growth and engender business knowledge transfer for indigenous based entrepreneurs, MSMEs and job seekers.
“A lot of people might not know the importance now, the fact about entrepreneurship is that it is the engine that creates new jobs and it is a great panacea for economic development.
“We are building the right foundation and it might take some time. Many of these entrepreneurial initiatives have great benefits that are not just for now, but for long after our administration, because that is when the narrative of this State would have changed.
“Our people would be more self-driven and self-conscious, and we have started seeing the impact.
Akeredolu added that ” This Agency, within just a year Of Creation has trained thousands of people and there has been various empowerment of young people to support them with interest-free loans and grants.”