Nigeria: “The Future Belongs to Youths in Enterprise” – Olasunkami
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The future of Nigeria belongs to today’s youths who are actively running their own small businesses.
The minister of youth development, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkunmi, made this statement in Abuja at the closing ceremony of the corpers’ entrepreneurship development programme [CEDP] organised by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in collaboration with the directorate of National Youth Service Corps [NYSC].
The minister who was represented by the assistant director [Youth Enterprise Development & Promotions], Mr. Luka Jonathan Mangset commended the SMEDAN on the CEDP initiative and urged participants to seize the opportunity to save themselves the trouble of searching for the rapidly dwindling job vacancies.
The CEDP which 2008 batch was flagged-off about five weeks ago is one of the small business development programmes run by the Agency. The 2008 batch was concurrently run in five locations across the country namely, Abuja, Lagos, Jos, Bauchi and Gusau.
The training is aimed at inculcating entrepreneurial culture by taking the participants through a well-structured enterprise development training exercise which will enable them to start and run profitable and sustainable small businesses.
Sanator Akinlabi who described entrepreneurship education as the lifeline for the Nigerian economy, recommended that more corps members get involved in order for them to not only secure their financial future, but to also launch Nigeria on the pathway of sustainable socio-economic development. He also stated that getting the youths involved in enterprise development is one of the main ways to realise the 7 -point agenda of Mr. President.
In his remarks, the NYSC director-general, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Bomoi who was represented at the ceremony by an assistant director at the national directorate headquarters, Mr. Ukonu, said he was delighted about the partnership between SMEDAN and NYSC in that regards.
He stressed that CEDP had come to reduce the number of jobless graduates on the streets. He encouraged participants to put to use all that they have learnt during the training exercise in order to make themselves job creators instead of job seekers. Considering the importance of the training exercise, Bomoi said the NYSC directorate would do everything possible to ensure that subsequent batches of CEDP witness a larger number of corps members participating.
In her own remarks, the director-general of SMEDAN, Mrs. Modupe
Adelaja, stated that CEDP would address the dwindling job/employment opportunities for university graduates, saying that enterprise development was the surest path to arresting the scourge of unemployment and promoting economic empowerment for the people.
Assuring participants of agency’s continuous support, Adelaja stated that “as a way of ensuring the sustainability of the gains of the training programme, evidenced by the practical application of the lessons learnt, our officers shall be meeting you in due course to assess the extent to which you have implemented your business plans”.
She also commended Celtel Nigeria Limited for partnering with
SMEDAN towards achieving the objectives of the training programme at some centres. The speech by SMEDAN’s director-general was concurrently read by officers that represented her at different locations where the CEDP closing ceremony was held