12th December, 2015
Prof. Agu Mkpa, former Vice Chancellor of the Abia State University, Uturu, has proffered entrepreneurial development as a solution to the nation’s growing youth unemployment.
Mkpa made the recommendation while delivering a lecture entitled ‘Entrepreneurial Development: A Panacea for Youth Unemployment in Nigeria’, on Friday at the Seventh Convocation lecture of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU).
He described youth unemployment as a “time bomb,” saying that it had the most broad-based devastating, most traumatic impact above all the societal ills facing the country.
“The danger of youth unemployment is that it is the harbinger of numerous other national ills. It is the root cause of many other social ills.
“There appears to be no other way out of this national `time bomb’ than entrepreneurial programmes.’’
He said that government’s capacity to absorb the yearly school leavers in the public and civil service was limited and urged the youths to come to terms with the painful reality.
“Our orientation should therefore be toward entrepreneurship development,’’ he said, while urging the youths to explore and take advantage of other existing opportunities around them.
Mkpa further urged the youths to be self-confident and believe in their God-given potentials and capabilities.
“They must be able to set progressive goals and pursue them to their logical conclusions,’’ he said.
Mkpa advised the youths to venture into agriculture and agro-allied enterprises, building and construction engineering, as well as fabrication work.
He also suggested other areas as environmental and waste management business, hospitality and tourism business, oil and gas business, among other entrepreneurial activities.
Mkpa also charged the government to provide the needed conducive environment for entrepreneurship to thrive by providing electricity, water, good road network and other facilities.
He advocated for special budgetary allocation for entrepreneurial education in the nation’s higher institutions.
“Many tertiary institutions that have not taken entrepreneurial studies seriously need to face serious sanctions in order to sit up,’’ he said.
Mkpa noted lack of political will on the part of government to accord vocational and technical education the place of significance they deserved, as part of the impediments against entrepreneurial development in the country.
He said that the neglect of vocational and technical education by successive governments over the years aggravated the problem of youth unemployment.
In his remark, Prof. Hilary Edeoga, Vice Chancellor of MOUAU, said that the university set up the Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies as part of its efforts to equip graduates with functional education that could make them job creators rather than job seekers.’’