Why Nigeria Students, Others Should Embrace Entrepreneurship

By AbdurRaheem Sa’ad Dembo

Entrepreneurship is the real deal in the 21st century; any nation where the youths jettison or pay less attention to it will romance in a long time with pressure, agony, stagnation, and poverty.This is not far- fetched because Governments cannot employ everyone but can create a flourishing environment for business to blossom, so as to employ many. This assertion is almost becoming a cliche in the media space. Many scholars have said it over and over again.

Having said this, one should not be deterred from engaging and reminding our young ones, in the Yoruba tone, that the sun that is still shinning can dry clothes in relation to their aspirations for a better and sustainable living. As a youth, you cannot go far if you are still expecting that only the government will make you earn a good living after your university education. That is an absolute deceit; we live in a world today where many governments all over the world cannot even meet their fiscal obligations. Many live on borrowings. Economic stagnation is the order of the day in the third world countries. It may interest you to know that even the developed worlds also borrow to meet their financial demands.

As an undergraduate in the university I never had the opportunity to understand that self employment or entrepreneurship is the key to tap on the availability, indomitability, formidability and sustainability of wealth. As a student if you come across this piece please don’t just read it and go, begin to regurgitate and find what you can do so that you won’t wait for government to employ you. In fact, if you are lucky, you can as well become an employer of labour. Those who are in private world of businesses are doing far better than those in government’s establishments. Let it sink now that salary cannot make you rich, except you cut corners. Remember EFCC and ICPC won’t allow you to go scot-free if you are found wanting. We must focus on legitimate and sustainable earnings, which can be guaranteed through entrepreneurship.

Yes, it is as good as saying that youth should embrace entrepreneurship but what about funding? Because an idea without finance will bereave take off and subsequently retrogression. I am aware of MSME and Anchor Borrower initiatives of the government. How have the youths benefitted from them? To those who were lucky to access them under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, what was the outcome?Did they use the opportunity judiciously? I have read reports that in some states some people abused it as they had diverted the loans to buy cars, add more wives and even reluctant to repay the loan. All of these are susceptible to rumour or hearsay. The Central Bank of Nigeria and other credit facilitators are in the best positions to tell us about the impacts of the loans.

A Facebook user Adejare Ibrahim posted on his page on 15th November,2023 as saying
“Success occurs when adequate preparations meet opportunities. Some people, when you ask them ,”what is hampering your business growth”?
They will say”I need more fund”. Ask them to submit a proposal. You won’t see them again. They make no preparation for the impending opportunities.

This is where many businessmen belong. Give them 10 million naira, all they will buy are personal cars, expensive clothes and other luxuries.
We all need to change”.

Essentially, it is delightful to hear that in most tertiary institutions in Nigeria Entrepreneurship has been introduced as general studies and even as main course to prepare the students for self employment and others.

Those who came from business background whom their parents had never worked under the government have edges over others.Their parents must have prepared their minds for the private world where business is akin to growth and progress of individuals and the society. It is likened to when you watch your mother doing some cooking as a child; because the activities had become daily so even if you are ask to come and do it, one would do it successfully and even better. I know how to prepare luru, i.e. minyan kuka, ewedu and others by just watching my mum doing it as a child. So also in the business world, those with business backgrounds may likely do better. They can build on the already existing ideas and make their products and services much more unique.

In affirming the imperatives of Entrepreneurship in the 21st century, this is what the Vice President Kashim Shettima said at the University of Maiduguri to the graduating students on the 24th combined convocation ceremony: “Every success in life brings with it challenges. You are graduating today, our nation is faced with myriads of problems. I believe the university has adequately prepared you to contribute to proferring solutions to these problems. The era when graduates look up to the government for answers to all problems is fast fading. I encourage you to specifically utilise your entrepreneurial training in the university to decide your employability”.

The VP said the era where graduates rely solely on the government for employment was over, adding that they must use their education and Entrepreneurial skills to make positive impacts on the society. This is in tandem with my earlier assertion that government alone cannot provide jobs for all citizens.

More importantly, the prominent business magnate and Chairman of BUA Group, Alhaji Rabiu Abdulsamad recently donated entrepreneurship centre to the University of Maiduguri on the same occasion of 24th combined convocation. This is in line with the global standard and self employment drives in order to encourage our youths. I personally thank the business magnate for his consistent generosity; Nigeria has never had it so good in this kind of BUA’s way of giving back to the society. We pray to Allah protect him against adversaries.

It is of monumental significance to appeal to BUA Chairman and other wealthy Nigerians to please have a special funds that would avail
young Nigerians to access loans in order to achieve robust self employment in our country.

Our government should also, through the Central Bank, make loans transparently accessible to ordinary Nigerians. I am aware the government has done so in the past, but they should ensure that the process gets better and stronger; that is the only way to prosperity in reducing unemployment in Nigeria. Moreover, policy should be put in place in ensuring that we move away from the old ways of doing things.

It is often said that one should make hays while the sun is shining. Hence, to our dear youths, please embrace entrepreneurship for timely reduction of poverty in our country.

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