- Nigeria Needs to Invest in Growing Entrepreneurs
The Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, has stressed the need for investment towards increasing the number of skilled entrepreneurs in the country.
Awosika, who delivered the keynote address at the ‘2017 SME Conference’ organised by the bank in partnership with the Lagos Business School on Friday, said the nation needed as many people as possible to create businesses that would contribute to economic development.
She said, “We have diverse generations of entrepreneurs; a lot of young bold people who are willing to try things out. They are defining new industries. So, that’s a good sign for Nigeria because it means that we have got a whole crop of people who are not afraid to try new things.”
“The discipline, knowledge and empowerment that create the process that helps you to build a business from an idea to a successful institution is where we need to invest.”
Highlighting the need to incorporate a component of critical thinking into the nation’s educational system, Awosika said, “You don’t even need everybody looking for a university degree; we need to create a pipeline that also creates skilled entrepreneurs. A man is a welder but he thinks of how he can use his skills as a welder to create a business manufacturing some metal products or welding-based products that are needed in the economy.”
She said entrepreneurs should rethink their entire business and build for the long term, with the understanding that “they need to create jobs for a nation that has a large population but in a world where technology is clearly eliminating jobs”.
Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Shobo, said the theme of the conference, ‘Made in Nigeria: Driving productivity and competitiveness,’ was pertinent in view of the need for innovation-driven economic revival.