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A Professor of Entrepreneurship Studies, the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Prof. Sunday Adebisi, has said Nigerian youths paid £3.25 billion about $5.1 billion, to emigrate to the United Kingdom in 2022.

Adebisi, who stated this while delivering the First Annual Lecture of Dr Mike Adenuga (Jnr) Professorial Chair in Entrepreneurship, said the money excluded what young Nigerians paid to move to other places like Canada, Australia, the United States among others.

The title of his paper was “Revolutionizing the Nigerian economy to create decent jobs: The sole ladder, the sole option, the sole platform.”

Adebisi, who is the first occupier of the chair, said from about 8,000 young Nigerians that left for the UK in 2014,  the figure jumped drastically to over 66,000 in 2022.

“The reasons are not far fetched. Nigerian youths don’t want anything to debar them from expressing their spirit of innovation and making use of their potentials. They are also not happy that Chapter 2 Section 16 subsection 1a- 1d and 2a-2d, which should have been implemented to guarantee good and better life for the citizens is in limbo.

“Out of the about 223 million Nigerians, going by our population, over 95 million are in the age bracket of 14-35 years, they are the future and the hope of the country, but how do we treat them? What hope are we giving them? A broken promise can lead to a broken people,” he said

Adebisi, who made a critical appraisal of the policy thrusts of various administrations since 1999, opined that nothing tangible was achieved because economic and fiscal policies were not in tandem.

For the economy to be rejuvenated, he noted that the sole ladder needed is innovation, the sole option is to embrace entrepreneurship and also use the youth as the sole platform.

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“For us to get the best out of our youths, we must bridge the gap and disconnection between them and the older generation. Already, they are feeling disappointed. If you notice, most of them voted for the first time in 2015, subsequent developments led to their frustration and that is where the desire to leave the country at all cost became heightened.

“If you look at the nations of the world, the most innovative ones and who also embrace entrepreneurship are the richest. Check the list of the top 10 nations. And what did they make use of, their young ones, with their fertile minds for creativity. Take Singapore for instance, we can take some kind of mentorship from there regarding our quest to get the best from Blue Economy.”

He also called for the setting up of a N200 billion Youth Enterprise Fund to help youths actualise their dreams.

” This can be done by the CACOVID team that came to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth unemployment in the country has become a pandemic and must be tackled head on. We cannot continue to pretend that everything is okay. I, however, would appeal to our youths to show patriotism and give the older generation another chance by staying in the country to build a new nation,” he advised.

In her opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor, UNILAG, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, thanked Dr Mike Adenuga for endowing the chair.

“The step is in sync with the focus of our great university to produce graduates that would have the spirit of enterprise inculcated in them. We are into partnership with local and international universities and bodies to ensure that our graduates contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of the country. SMEDAN is also one of the government agencies we are working with in that direction,” she stated.

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The Chairman, Board of Trustees of DMA, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, said the organisation would continue to support and promote entrepreneurship among youths.

The Chairman of the occasion, Dr Oluwatoyin Okeowo, stated that Adebisi did a thorough job to the subject matter.

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He added that developments and happenings in the business world were pointing to the need to quickly take urgent steps for the country not to tip over economically.

Vanguard

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