Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship Studies at Lagos State University (LASU), Prof.Martins Anetekhai has advocated youth empowerment as the fastest route to economic recovery.
Anetekhai advised Nigerians to become empowered in various skills and never wait till the nation crumbles before they find solutions to the falling economy.
He spoke while delivering a keynote speech at an induction of new students at Personal Empowerment Training (PET).
PET was organised by Hope Builders Skills Development and Acquisition Foundation (HBF).
HBF is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which specialises in empowering youths especially women by enrolling them at a training centre at no cost.
The foundation has graduated over 2000 student since its inception in 2008.
Anetekhai said the nation is crumbling because, according to him, Nigerians think less of entrepreneurship let alone of empowerment
“We have to learn how to apply our natural resources to make sure the country develops like other nations.
The don advised that would-be entrepreneurs should be groomed at young age to stimulate their interest and knowledge in entrepreneurship skills.
“We must catch them young, stimulate their interest, give them knowledge, incubate them and allow them to fly; we must also interact with them and let them know the future is theirs.
“In LASU now,o matter the course a student is studying, he or she must also take up an entrepreneurial course, as this is planning the student for the big future.
“It is a good idea that the convener of this NGO is stimulating young people’s interest to acquire a skill.
He urged the students to face what they are learning because their future lies in their hands,” he said.
Also, Mrs Iyaniwura Fagbure, who was representing the Lagos State, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Lola Akande lauded the initiative.
She said the empowerment programme is encouraging and it is the way forward in the country.
“This type of programme is what the government is encouraging, I highly appreciate the convener of this programme, because it is a non governmental organisation that is empowering youth at no cost.
The convener of HBF, Mrs Folayemisi Adu said the vision of the foundation came up when she saw many youths wasting away during and after school.
“In order to reduce prostitution, cultism, drug abuse among the jobless youths, I decided to train some of this youths who are idle to become empowered so that they don’t misbehave.
“We give vocational training to mostly women because many parents still do not want to educate their female children.
“HBF fixed the youth at a training centres so that they can learn how to relate with customers when they graduate,although we pay the trainers for their services from my personal purse, but the students don’t pay.”
She called on stakeholders and individuals to contribute to the growing of such organisations who is into empowering youth to become entrepreneurs.
Adu also advised the government to introduce entrepreneurship skills in primary schools so as to stimulate their interest while growing.
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