Okwe Obi, Abuja
A former member of the House of Representative and Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Abimbola Daramola, has attributed the failure of entrepreneurship to the lack sufficient knowledge and skills by entrepreneurs.
Daramola, who spoke yesterday in Abuja while addressing potential entrepreneurs on how to weather the bad economic storm, called on governments to institutionalise entrepreneurship by setting up well-equipped training centers across the country where Nigerians can learn various skills, rather than dishing out grants to novice in the name of empowerment without ascertaining their skills.
The ex-lawmaker, who recently launched a scheme called project 60:60:60 to mark the country’s 60 year anniversary, hinted that after the training, successive entrepreneurs would be given grants from N60,000 to N1 million to shore up their businesses.
While urging them to believe in themselves by acquiring relevant skills, he called on government to come up with measures to save the loss of jobs especially in the face of the novel COVID-19.
According to him, “But entrepreneurship is not just raising starts up capital, they must be equipped to do so. Today, we have spent so much of money as a nation but what have we succeeded in raising?
“SOS and SMEDAN record is just about 42,000 people and that is not inspiring compared to the population that we have. So, we must revert and tweak the metrics of entrepreneurship in Nigeria to make it first and foremost one that will sit on knowledge, capacity and competence over and above capital.
“The assumption has always been that every could be an entrepreneur, but it is not right. The place or capacity to use the resources that you have been given is also very critical to the success and value of the money that you have been given.
“We can not raise entrepreneurs on the basis of two days training or one day training. It must be structurally backed.”
He added: “We are trying to raise 60 entrepreneurs from the six geopolitical zones. We feel that we can take entries from cross the length and breath of the country, and select the best 60 from each of them.
“And then send them into the boot camp where they will be giving the appropriate and requisite training to be able succeed in the market place.
“Every business, product or service must first and foremost, address a value need. Only yesterday, I said to people that the new definition of CV which used to be curriculum vitae is now creative value.
“Once we raise the 60 people we will begin to give value and significance to the attainment of the 60 anniversary. Most nations rely on how they address their challenges against prevailing realities.
“For instance, in Nigeria today, 39.4 million people are jobless. Just yesterday, 40 per cent of work staff of Hilton got downsized. Where did they go? That figure has not been captured. And this has been made worst by COVID-19. In going forward, there is a comparative need that entrepreneurship is the way to go.”