‘Effective entrepreneurship programmes from Primary school, pipeline to create more jobs’ — Awosika

‘Effective entrepreneurship programmes from Primary school, pipeline to create more jobs’ — Awosika

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Ibukun Awosika has suggested that Nigeria adds effective entrepreneurship into the early academic programmes of the public if it wants to create more jobs.

Awosika, a founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group, said it is important to start as early as Primary school to form a pipeline for turning every bright-thinking Nigerian graduate into an asset for creating jobs.

The entrepreneur shared her insight at the 7th Public Lecture of Corona College of Education (CCED), tagged The Future of Education and Entrepreneurship in Nigeria: Trends and Predictions, and held on November 9.

Awosika said the clearest way to create jobs is to create entrepreneurs.

“The largest employers of labour are the small medium-sized companies but they exist in such huge numbers that they create enough jobs for all to see,” she added.

However, she noted that the absence of small companies to serve as feeder companies to the bigger companies causes the latter to take up operations on all the parts of their value chain, thus making them unnecessarily expensive.

“If the value chain works, multiple companies are created, more people are employed at different stages, higher efficiency is achieved, creativity and innovation is enhanced, and our ability to take on new opportunities is increased across multiple industries,” she said.

Awosika said the linkage between the Nigerian educational system and entrepreneurship is the key to Nigeria achieving a value chain that works.

Drawing from her personal experience, Awosika said that it is important to approach the country’s national development in the light of tying the agenda of entrepreneurship development directly to the educational system that Nigeria delivers.

She said, “In educating our children, even from primary school, we should be able to empower their thinking process in a way that they look at every situation with an attempt to create a solution that has a commercial value.”

Awosika said that all Nigerian entrepreneurs must not go through a University education, as some people require more technical skills in certain areas that will help them build the kind of enterprise they are interested in after their primary or secondary school.

“And that does not mean that they are uneducated,” she said.

Earlier in her address, Awosika said that Education to her is “a process of empowering the mind of an individual to take information, to process information, and to be able to consider in the thinking process what that information implies.”

Awosika, who was formerly the first female Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, said that she started at the age of about 25 to 26 years old without a formal entrepreneurship degree.

She said that her experience helped her learn that an entrepreneur is a solutions provider who can apply knowledge to solve a problem and offer it economically to the population.

Further, the Provost of CCED, Dr Olajumoke Mekiliuwa, said that a highlight of the lecture was the need for Nigeria to go back to engaging the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) forms of education.

She said TVET will help reconfigure education in Nigeria and bridge the gap between town and gown.

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