One of the policy thrusts of the present Administration over time has been the repositioning of Nigeria’s economy in such a manner that the country will return to its glory days of being a manufacturing hub.
The whole idea revolves around making Nigeria a producing Nation with emphasis on encouraging citizens to buy goods made in the country to grow the economy.
It is imperative to note that, local content is key in the quest to grow the economy and clearly; citizens, especially women and youths, need to be equipped with requisite skills and engaged to produce basic items needed in the Country.
In line with the aforementioned, Government has continued to strengthen expertise in critical sectors to enable core agencies to deliver on the mandate of reinvigorating entrepreneurship skills.
For instance, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria- SMEDAN, Industrial Training Fund- ITF, National Directorate of Employment-NDE and other empowerment platforms have stepped up and designed action plans to build the entrepreneurship capacity of Nigerians especially women and youths.
The various action plans are in line with what is obtained in Europe, America and Asia, where young people are trained to be entrepreneurs and positioned to contribute significantly to the growth of their economies.
The fundamental objective of entrepreneurship development hinges on lifting people out of poverty and by extension, boosting the productive base of local economies; which is the yardstick for development.
In climes where entrepreneurship development has been deeply entrenched, it is studied as a course at all levels, with teachers or lecturers better placed to inculcate business ideas in students.
This is the way to go if indeed Nigeria wants to pull citizens out of the present economic doldrums. Good enough, agencies of Government have introduced several programmes to achieve a society driven by entrepreneurship skills.
These programmes must therefore accommodate teachers at all levels since they are the first point of contact within the learning environment.
Interestingly, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria SMEDAN for instance has embarked on capacity building for Teachers under the Mind Shift Entrepreneurship Programme.
Basically, the Mind Shift Entrepreneurship Programme is designed to enhance the capacity of teachers who will in turn prepare students to become entrepreneurs.
The teachers and lectures will also be expected to help students identify their potential early enough in order to value wealth-creating possibilities through creativity and innovations.
It is important to note that the Mind Shift Entrepreneurship programme is driven on two platforms: the National School Entrepreneurship programme for Primary and Secondary Schools and the Tertiary Institutions Development Programme which has the buy-in of critical stakeholders in the Education Sector.
The programme must be stepped down in schools across states in the country to ultimately prepare teachers to embrace entrepreneurial attitudes and knowledge so that they can help students turn ideas into products.
The approach to implementation must be multi-level and multi-sectoral, as state governments including critical agencies must draw inspiration from SMEDAN’s initiative to sufficiently support teachers with basic entrepreneurial knowledge.
According to a recent prediction by the World Bank, an additional forty million people will join the economically active group by twenty forty in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Bank points to the fact that there is no way regular paying jobs will cope with the number of people entering the employment market, hence the need for young people to embrace entrepreneurship skills.
Consequently, young minds in what has been termed catch them young; must be supported with education and training that promotes employment generation and wealth creation. To this end, teachers will equally require the necessary training to drive entrepreneurship development in schools across Nigeria.
Written by Awuhe Terfa