By Oluwafunke Ishola
Prof. Sunday Adebisi, Director, Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has called for a national entrepreneurship policy to drive skills development and economic growth.
Adebisi made the call at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Annual Youth Entrepreneurship Summit in Lagos.
Theme of the summit was: “Youth Entrepreneurship and National Development.”
Adebisi said that most developed countries had entrepreneurship policy that had accelerated their economic transformation and growth.
According to him, a situation where an average of 324, 042 jobs are created annually, means that few of the unemployed youths would have access to jobs yearly.
Adebisi said the Federal Government should ensure review of every university and secondary school curriculum toward employment generation.
He also called for a reform in the agriculture sector that would enable more youths to engage in the opportunities in the agricultural business space.
The director said that the Federal Government should adopt a five-year tax free policy for startups and create an incubation hub across the states to allow for more innovation and growth.
He advised that the creation of an entrepreneurship bank that would focus on financing youths with creative ideas to fruition was required at this stage of development.
Adebisi said that adopting the recommendations would make more youths to be patriotic; develop trust and solutions to national issues for development.
Also, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, President of LCCI, said that aim of the programme was to join the rest of the world in its attempt to attain a sustainable economic development.
Ruwase said: “Sustainable economic growth requires societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy, while not harming the environment.
He said that LCCI would continue to encourage youths to embrace entrepreneurship through sensitisation programme.
The president said that entrepreneurship was critical to the economic development of Nigeria.
Ruwase said that LCCI had been supporting startups and young businesses since 2013 through its business mentoring programme which had produced successful entrepreneurs.
Commenting, Mrs Yewande Falugba, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, said that the state government was committed to poverty alleviation, especially among women and youths.
Falugba said that the ministry had established about 17 vocational centres across the state to train people on different vocations ranging from catering, carpentry, soap making, leather works to computer and graphics literacy.
She said that the training had assisted in reducing unemployment and crime rate in the state, thus making Lagos an investment destination and largest contributor to the nation’s economic growth. (NAN)