Political economist and management expert, Professor Pat Utomi, has charged Nigerian youths to be creators of wealth despite the country’s current economic downturn.
Speaking in Abuja at the 2016 Catholic Singles Conference, Utomi advised young people to take advantage of the recession and forge formidable networks that will yield social and economic value for themselves and the country.
“Young people should see themselves much more as creators of wealth rather than people who get hired.
“If they see themselves that way, networks that are developing can provide them the opportunities to look for how they can be wealth creators.
He encouraged young Nigerians to be resilient in their entrepreneurial drive. They should persevere. If you get hit once and you fall and roll over, you are not an entrepreneur.
“There is a Japanese saying that says that an entrepreneur is a man who falls seven times and gets up eight times. Many of us when we fall we roll over and play dead,” he said.
Expressing displeasure over the lack of business-friendly policies and environments for small enterprises in the country, Utomi called on the Nigerian government to formulate and implement supportive policies for young entrepreneurs in the country.
We don’t have appropriate policies and the right institutions to support small enterprises and provide financial support, not in the way of people coming to get their own share of the national cake like we have had in the past.
“Where commercially minded people are managing funds which the government and everybody else can support, they can get people who have the requisite skills to invest in enterprises,” Professor Utomi stressed.
In its First Quarter 2016 Report, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, had reported the growing rate of youth unemployment in the country.
“Accordingly, of a total youth labour force of 38.2 million (representing 48.7% of total labour force in Nigeria of 78.48mn), a total of 15.2mn of them were either unemployed or underemployed in Q1 2016 representing a youth unemployment rate of 42.24%.