Job Creation through Empowerment
Nigeria has suffered the paradox of economic growth without development for many years. Many economists often lament what they have come to describe as our “job-less growth”. While all macro-economic indices point to an economy which is truly growing and there is noticeable improvement in our public infrastructure, especially power and roads, unemployment still remains a challenge. With our huge population comprising mainly youths, this is worrisome and a great threat to our posterity. Nigeria needs to achieve a quick-win solution that ensures that most of our employable citizens are gainfully engaged. We must harness the innovative spirit and entrepreneurial acumen of our people in our battle against unemployment. We must empower our entrepreneurs to be in the position to create jobs on a large scale.
Nigeria’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are faced with many challenges which have stunted their growth and development. Some of these challenges are poor infrastructural facilities, inadequate funding and lack of access to capital, weak managerial and entrepreneurial skills, limited demand for their products and services, and competition from foreign products. Among these challenges, the most restricting is the inadequacy of funds and lack of access to capital. Indeed, most of the other problems could easily be resolved with sufficient finance. Our financial institutions typically wait for entrepreneurs to become successful before they take any serious interest in their businesses. However creative and innovative they are, these entrepreneurs often cannot meet the strict credit risk acceptance criteria of banks.
The solution is really simple: Venture Capital; which I like to call patient equity funding.
I will initiate legislation for the establishment of a Venture Capital Corporation which will be a vehicle for the empowerment of indigenous entrepreneurs to be the drivers of employment creation in our economy as is the case in fast-growing economies such as China and Israel.
The focus of my Senatorial Constituency Projects shall be: Economic Development; and Human Development.
Having been a business entrepreneur myself and having been a resource person in several training programs for entrepreneurs, as a matter of priority, I shall establish a world-class academy for the training and development of young entrepreneurs. It shall be a Centre of excellence which others would want to emulate.