To avert the repeat of the unfortunate incident in which about 19 persons died at the recent Nigeria Immigration Service [NIS] recruitment exercise, the Director- General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji Bature Umar Masari, has affirmed the Agency’s commitment to partner with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Matters towards promoting and inculcating the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst Nigerian youths and students.
Receiving the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Students Matters, Comrade Jude Imagwe, who was accompanied by leaders of polytechnic and monotechnic students on a courtesy visit to the SMEDAN Headquarters, AlhajiMasaristressed the importance of entrepreneurship and advised that to avoid the unfortunate incident occasioned by the recent immigration recruitment exercise, entrepreneurship was the only way out.
AlhajiMasari pointed out that the Nigerian Youth should key into the National Enterprises Development Programme (NEDEP), University Entrepreneurship Development programme (UNEDEP), Students in Free Enterprise [SIFE] now renamed Entrepreneurial Action Us [ENACTUS] and other programmes of the Agency.
He said that the programmes were aimed at generating an estimated 5.0 million direct and indirect jobs between now and 2015, adding the NEDEP programme was significant as it would be implemented through the establishment of sustainable MSMEs in the 774 local government areas LGA’s based on comparative and competitive advantages.
He advised the Nigerian youths and students to develop themselves and embrace entrepreneurship culture, which is the only way out to be self-reliant after their education instead of seeking for white collar jobs which might not be forthcoming.He challenged the youths to come up with creative ideas which they would nurture into bankable business plans that would enable them access to capital.
Earlier the Senior Special Assistant to the President Comrade Jude Imagwe lauded the commitment to entrepreneurship development under the leadership of the Director-General.He noted that the launching of the National Enterprises Development Programme (NEDEP) by Mr. President early this year underscored the importance his administration attached to employment generation, wealth creation and poverty reduction.
He said that his office was ready to partner with the Agency in the areas of entrepreneurship development, wealth creation, and job creation as the immigration recruitment exercise was a sad commentary on unemployment in the country.
Comrade Imagwe urged the Agency to factor polytechnics and Monotechnics into the University Entrepreneurship Development Programme (UNEDEP) as this platform would create jobs by promoting self-employment amongst the youth and reduce the incidence of poverty.
The Senior Special Assistant suggested the establishment of a special unit for the organized youth and student sector in his office as well as a joint monitoring committee comprising staff of SMEDAN and his office.