Sunday, February 06, 2011

An Era of Entrepreneurship #YouthLeadership #Education

For a minute, imagine if Michael Adenuga, the founder of Globacom Nigeria, Consolidated oil and Gas (Conoil) and Equatorial Trust Bank, Aliko Dangote and other leading multi-billionaire entrepreneurs in Nigeria never branched out to create their own company. Imagine if Adenuga had played safe, jumping from one full-time employment to another while his big vision went stale. Millions of Nigerians today will be unemployed or at least not earning  the good employment package provided by Glo. There will be no Glo to give other telecommunications companies a run for their money by introducing per second billing system.

An excerpt of his profile on “Strategic Business Team”, an online news stream, reads “Mike Adenuga is not on our list of school drop out billionaires because he attended Ibadan Grammar School, obtained a degree in business administration from Northwestern University, Alva, Oklahoma, and an MBA, majoring in marketing from Peace University, New York, both in United States of America. He also has an honorary doctorate degree from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye Ogun State. While schooling in the United States of America, Mike Adenuga worked as a cab driver and security guard to pay his tuition fees."

A qualitative education- be it formal or informal, plays a critical role in raising a generation that is willing to create wealth for sustainable development. It can be recalled that last year, the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) developed a new Senior Secondary School Education Curriculum (SSEC) that will be implemented in September 2011.

"The new SSEC structure is to ensure that every senior secondary school graduate is well prepared for higher education, and has acquired relevant functional trade/entrepreneurship skills needed for poverty eradication, job creation and wealth generation; and in the process strengthen further the foundations for ethical, moral and civic values acquired at the basic educational level." Said the Executive Secretary of NERDC, Prof Godwill Obioma.

Like most people, I am apologetically excited about this new initiative and got my fingers crossed that the average Nigerian student will be able to adapt to this change. The introduction of Entrepreneurship into High School curriculum means, it is no longer business as usual. Hopefully, it will allow more room for creativity and critical thinking in our classrooms instead of the usual “handout” and textbook cramming. The average teacher/educator will also need to be well prepared enough to competently teach the subject. Infrastructures that will encourage the subject should be provided in all schools.

What Nigeria needs right now, to curb the increasing rate of unemployment and underemployment, eradicate extreme poverty and sustain the private sector is to stay committed in developing entrepreneurship skills among young people- right from primary school age. We need more Michael Adenuga and the likes in our generation and beyond.

Photo by: Gbemile Oluwatosin

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