By Oluyinka Onigbinde
With the high rate of unemployment in the country and more students graduating annually into the Labour market for employment opportunities, a Non-Governmental organization, Abia State Youths Development Organization (ASYDO) in conjunction with Igbo Students Union, University of Lagos Chapter held a Business empowerment summit at the University of Lagos (Unilag) Lagos on Entrepreneurship Development Skills in order for them to be self reliant in future. According to the Organiser, Prince Obinna Ehumadu youths should start early to have an entrepreneurial mind-set; that way, they open up other options for gainful employment when they are ready to join the job market or start up their own businesses.
In his remark, Obinna said the Organization has a branch in Lagos, Abia state and Abuja and what we are doing here today will be replicated in other parts of the country.
My job as a youth leader is to go to all these leaders to tell them to come out and talk to the youths and empower them and create job opportunities for them. With all the experiences they have achieved in their respective disciplines to bring out and address our youths, some of them are on the streets, stranded; they do not have money to pay their schools fees, some of the leaders who promised to be here are not here but when we look at it critically, you will discover that the gap between the rich and the poor is very wide.
The youths that are gathered here hope that those leaders will be here today to share their business experiences with them, in 10 years to come, these youths would have been in a great position and remember this day that they were empowered. The youths need to be encouraged; where is the job, what is their hope today. They will say the youths are becoming- nuisance while you are not encouraging them, I hope at the end of this programme our leaders will have a change of heart towards the empowerment of the youths.
The President, Igbo Student Union UniLag Chapter, stated that; The idea was to carry out a sensitisation programme to our younger ones especially in this season of economic recession, to encourage our young ones to make them believe in themselves and be able to stand on their own whenever they are confronted with challenges, life does not end in the four walls of the university, after this programme majority of us are going back to the world to face the reality of life.
The programme is to enable every one of us to look inward. Everybody believes that we have mineral resources like oil is not the only resources that this nation is endowed with, there are many human resources that are lying fallow: untapped, this kind of programme will help an individual to start to discover such resources and it will help us to be able to harness those resources in order to be able to develop as a country and I believe this empowerment initiative will be a kind of motivation that would focus on a particular direction which is discovering lives and destiny.
In his speech, Engr. Emmanuel Ekwuribe, The President General Abia state Town Union Association, Lagos state and South West, commended the organisers for the objective of the event, hinting that was why, we’re here as fathers and leaders in Lagos in the South West to support the youths.
With this programme we can go places because the youths and Abians will be empowered, most of them will be self-reliant, and this programme will open windows of opportunities as they listen to entrepreneurs who are captains of industries and self-employed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ekwuribe also commended the Abia State Governor, Mr.Okezie Ikpeazu for vigorously promoting the Made in Aba project.
He stated that , It was another way of making us to be self-reliant in producing locally made products, apart from Textiles materials and shoes that you can easily get in Aba, the lecture is all about empowerment, so we are here to complement government’s effort by promoting it and encouraging locally producers and manufacturers .
In his contribution, Mr. Chidozie Okezie urged the Igbo leaders and government to support the students by paying for their School Bursary because of the economic recession that might have handicapped their parents from paying their fees regularly thereby affecting their studies.
The students were also advised to take advantage of entrepreneurial works like Blogging with their smart phones, book writing that will earn them extra cash.