Worried by the dwindling pace of the Nigeria’s economic growth and its attendant effects on employment opportunities Anabel Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Nicholas Okoye has advocated investment in people as against over emphasis on infrastructural development.
Okoye advised the corporate Chief Executives to place premium on entrepreneurship development of their staff in order to equip them with the right skill for enhanced productivity.
Speaking at press interactive session Tuesday, Okoye lamented the quantum leap in the youth unemployment and the extent to which many Nigerians depend entirely on the government to provide everything.
But Okoye who spoke extensively on the strategy for entrepreneurship development explained that there should be a deliberate and consistent policy to expose our youths to entrepreneurial training while the older people should be equally trained and supported.
“Our National Development Strategy Services should be people-oriented. It is good to invest in infrastructural development but it is better to invest in the people who will drive the infrastructure. There is no country that has made progress without development of its people. Our youths have formed an army of unemployed. The list is becoming elongated by the day. There is a great misconception about empowerment of people. Many Nigerians regard empowerment as giving money to people in the name of ‘national cake’. This is not so. Empowerment is more of exposing people to the right skills and such people can efficiently manage the resources” Okoye noted.
According to him, Anabel Group operates on strategy, leadership and entrepreneurship and the company has developed a number of products aimed at developing entrepreneurship spirit among different segments of Nigerian society. Commenting on the entrepreneurial products, Okoye noted that Anabel developed start-up Nigeria, a programme that supports entrepreneurs with the right skills and resources.” We also have Entrepreneurship Development Programme for Women and Senior Entrepreneurs. This focuses on networking, identifying global sources of necessary information and strategic communication. As of now, our focus is on Oil and Gas, Power and Information Technology sectors. We organize coalition of super mentors for youths as part of our Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR). Over 55,000 Nigerians have benefited from our coaching and each of them has testimonies” he said
Okoye lamented that many entrepreneurs in Nigeria lack bankable projects, skills and proper orientation on the attributes of an entrepreneur. He stated that millions of companies had collapsed due to the owner’s lack of entrepreneurial skill saying government at all tiers should review the status of Ministry of Labour and create Ministry of Employment and Entrepreneurship in order to address the issues of skills, exposure, sources of finance etc. for our entrepreneurs. According to him, this will bring the challenges and way forward for our entrepreneurs.