• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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‘Right skills, entrepreneurial attitude among students will curb unemployment’


Demola Aladekomo, group managing director; Chams plc has identified right skills, attitude, entrepreneurial ambition and ideas among students as the solution to the present unemployment challenges in the country.

Aladekomo disclosed that with existing limitless opportunities in the market, Nigeria represents an exceptional and extremely exciting opportunity for young and smart entrepreneurs with guts.

Aladekomo made this known while delivering a keynote address entitled “The Entrepreneur as a Nation Builder,” at the 2nd Oladele Olashore Memorial Lecture organised by Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU) in Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State.

“Youthful entrepreneurs drive the economy of the United States. America’s 25.8 million small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the private workforce, generating more than half of its national gross domestic product.

“Nigerian youths must imbibe same culture of entrepreneurship and stop differentiating between opportunities in the formal and informal, believing the latter is for illiterates. Without an upsurge in youth enterprise, our national economy cannot attain its true potential,” he said.

He continued: “It is ironic that we have lots of unemployed graduates when there are lots of societal needs that are not being met in the Nigerian market. Could it be lack of ideas or the false belief that entrepreneurs are born and not made that keep our youths searching for elusive jobs when the export market for cassava is grossly underserved? The scenario is the same across thriving sub-sectors of the national economy with an increasingly ageing workforce in which opportunities abound for energetic youth and new ideas.

“Entrepreneurs are created through education, experience and mentorship. They were not born with entrepreneurial insight, ability and skills which make them exceptional.

“With the right skills and attitude, any Nigerian youth with ambition and ideas can go far because of the existing limitless opportunities in the market. Nigeria represents an exceptional and extremely exciting opportunity for young and smart entrepreneurs with guts,” Aladekomo said.

He lauded the commitment of the vision bearers of Joseph Ayo Babalola University to equipping undergraduate students with entrepreneurial skills irrespective of their basic academic pursuits.

Anthony Imevbore, emeritus professor and pro-chancellor of Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), on his part, revealed that Demola Aladekomo still had more to contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth notwithstanding close to three decades of eminent service to the nation.

Imevbore called on JABU students and the Nigerian youth at large to emulate the inspiring lives of Aladekomo and other successful Nigerian entrepreneurs who have contributed and are contributing immensely to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.

JABU is Nigeria’s first ICT-driven entrepreneurial university which seeks to equip students with entrepreneurial skills irrespective of their basic academic pursuits, in order to make them self-sufficient, self-reliant, competent, and efficient employers of labour and adding value to our national economy.

According to Imevbore, “From the deep education given to us on entrepreneurship today which is in alignment with the JABU vision, there is no reason why some of you here should start writing job applications after graduation.

“You have been given all the tips, all you need to be a successful entrepreneur just like the Late Oba Oladele Olashore and Aladekomo, our guest speaker. Nothing compares to learning from an individual who discusses a topic of interest from life experience.

“The guest speaker is a resourceful Nigerian who has contributed immensely to the national economy and still has a lot more to contribute to the growth of this country.”

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Sola Fajana, vice chancellor, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, said “We are going home with message that wherever there is a need, there is need for enterprise; and by satisfying the need, your create value which includes employment and wealth.

“We are delighted to have Aladekomo here to encourage our community of youths to make a difference just like the late Oba Oladele Olashore whose memory is being honoured today,” he said.

Alexander Chiejina