Stakeholders urge youths to tap into existing opportunities in ICT, Agriculture
Stakeholders in youth development, have called on Nigerian youths and women especially in the North-East, to leverage on opportunities in ICT, and agriculture which will equip them for future challenges.
They made the call on Saturday, during a virtual workshop organised by ‘Future Technology International Valley, (FTIV)’ aimed at enlightening participants on existing and future opportunities for small businesses and start-ups.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the theme for the meeting is: “Unlocking opportunities in businesses in the North-East.’’
Dr Mohammed Kyari, the founder of FTIV, said that poverty cycles can only be broken through education, which will awaken innovative ideas that can address societal challenges.
He disclosed that FTIV, a technology -based valley and social enterprise, provided one-stop technology solutions and mentorship services where new skills and knowledge are generated.
Kyari said:“Available statistics show that over 70% of the population in north-eastern Nigeria is below 45 years old.
“ And this active study and work age group in the region, needs strong education, skills acquisition, employment opportunities and economic empowerment.
”This is by providing necessary training and skills driven by job market needs and demands associated with human development.”
Mr Kyari Bukar, the CEO of INLAKS limited, who spoke on the topic: “Technology Start-Up and Economic Empowerment”, said that several strategic business units were vital to economic advancement.
He charged participants to be insightful and focus on opportunities that would further develop the North-East.
He urged FTIV to focus on trainings, scholarships, skills acquisition as “ these are parameters that ensure development which enables the people to get empowered.’’
Dr Dikko Radda, the immediate past DG of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), spoke extensively on unlocking opportunities in the North East.
Radda, who was represented by Mr Onesi Lawani, spoke on: “Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the North East: Challenges and Opportunities.”
He said that available research revealed that there was still a lot of work to be done to improve and tap into opportunities in the region.
“ Access to finance is not the only challenge to unlocking opportunities.
”A lot needs to be done between the private and the government in the area of partnerships and policies to benefit the public,’’ he said.
Radda noted a slight decline in small and medium enterprises in recent times, which had contributed to unemployment and exports.
Dr Satish Nair, Director, Product Development, Afri Ventures FZE, Kewalram Chanrai group, charged participants on agribusiness and agripreneurship in the North East.
Nair said agriculture and agribusiness were the engine of growth and development for any nation.
He added that youths in any nation have a call of agripreneurship, which was ”a responsibility to make agriculture an attractive and profitable business enterprise.
“ Agriculture possesses great scope for entrepreneurship, and this can be harnessed by effective management of agri-elements; such as water, seed, soil, and market needs,’’ he said.
NAN reports that over 60 participants were in attendance at the meeting. (NAN)