The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics in its 2016 Fourth Quarter Report estimated the rate of unemployment in the Country as 14.2 percent, with young people from age 18 to 34 making up 40% of the entire estimate. This figure amplifies the problems of unemployment in Nigeria. Youth unemployment remains a source of great concern for all patriotic Nigerian and the Nigerian Government. Unfortunately, this problem has defied the solutions proffered to it by the Government.
There is no gainsaying that entrepreneurship is the only solution to the economic misfortune of Nigeria. The country’s economic woes have led to the decline of oil revenue in the country, and have also prompted the continuous call for the diversification of the economy. There is, therefore, the need for young people to make up for the economic deficiency in the country through entrepreneurship and job creation.
Entrepreneurship gives young people the opportunity to secure their own future by getting involved in the economic realities of their country. In the words of the revered Businessman, Tony Elumelu, Entrepreneurship “will enable our young people to create their own jobs, become employers and take charge of their own future”.
The desire for quick returns, lack of adequate planning by young entrepreneurs, inconsistent government policies, the absence of critical infrastructures, the absence of capital due to lack of tangible collateral security, lack of economic incentives, have continued to militate against the growth of entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Despite these setbacks, there is no doubt that entrepreneurship remains the only way out of the crisis of youth unemployment.
It is a known fact that vibrant economies of the world today strive on the activities of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) established by young entrepreneurs. This implies that young entrepreneurs have a huge role to play in the quest to get Nigeria out of economic recession and poverty, into the bliss of economic growth, innovation and increased quality of life.
With the inevitable increase in the rate of commercial activities in the country’s economy as a result of the involvement of young people in entrepreneurial activities, there will be an unprecedented increase in the utilization of local technology, human and natural resources, to solve the country’s numerous problems.
Issues of Brain Drain, emigration and criminality among young people would be things of the past if young people get involved in business creation. Entrepreneurship affords young people the opportunity to cultivate the needed leadership and economic skills, to lead Nigeria out of the quandaries the country is presently grappling with. It gives young people confidence and a sense of belonging in Nigeria.
In conclusion, if entrepreneurship is to be an attractive and viable option for young people, governments at all levels must enact policies that would incentivize young people to create enterprises that would contribute to the country’s economic growth. Funding needed to start businesses must be readily available for young people to access, entrepreneurship education must be inculcated in all higher institutions to ensure that all students get involved in wealth creation.