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Promoting youth mentorship is vital for Nigeria’s economic development – Sekibo

Ifie Sekibo, managing director and chief executive officer of Heritage Bank Plc, says his passion for youth mentorship is hinged on his belief that it is the pathway to the economic development of the country and the African continent at large.

Sekibo, reputed for returning moribund companies to the path of sustained profitability, said he finds it satisfying, mentoring the younger generation, an act he does with passion and his God-given resources.

Sekibo said in a statement that entrepreneurship is the way to go, and youths need to be mentored on how to navigate the various challenges they may encounter while doing business.

Going down memory lane, he said the support and advice he received during his earlier career as an auditor II with the Rivers State government’s in 1988 has equipped him and provided direction for his career trajectory.

Nigerian youthful population has long been touted as her human capital resource, and when well managed, will grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and make the country a global leader in the comity of nations.

Currently, there is a growing apprehension that the country might not benefit from its youthful population with various data revealing that the country’s population is growing faster than its GDP.

Nigeria’s economy is not growing fast enough to create the needed jobs for its unemployed youthful population, especially since the outbreak of the COVID-19, the economy has been battered by low oil price and FX volatility.

The African Development Bank, in its regional economic outlook report, said West Africa’s burgeoning youth population offers a strategic workforce that can leverage for economic growth, despite the virus outbreak that is devastating to the global economies.

During the virtual launch, the report stated that owing to the pandemic outbreak, growth in the West Africa region, which was poised to expand by 4.0 percent in 2020 is now projected to contract by -2.0 percent in 2020 and could fall by as much as -4.3 percent in a worst-case scenario.

Nigeria, being among the countries that depend majorly on oil and others that depend on tourism for foreign exchange will significantly face heightened external account imbalances, stoking a build-up of public debt.

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