Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chief Executive Officer, SIFAX Group, has charged the students of the University of Ibadan to explore the option of entrepreneurship after graduation rather than join the league of graduates seeking paid employment.
Afolabi, who was the Guest Speaker at the 35th annual Health Week of the Unibadan Association of Dental Students held at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, noted that the high unemployment rate in the country has made it imperative for young people to devise new survival strategies.
He said: “According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, as of 2013, about 20.3 million Nigerian youths were jobless. This situation is further compounded by the fact that an estimated 1.8 million new graduates enter the country’s labour market annually.
“The current reality of high youth unemployment rate in Nigeria presents a great opportunity for all of us. This national challenge can only break us if we resign ourselves to fate. But if we see it as greatness wrapped in overall of problems, we would have done ourselves a lot of good. Entrepreneurship is the future.
“Entrepreneurship is the development of a business from the ground up. That is, coming up with an idea and turning it into a profitable business. This is one of the cogent and practicable solutions to the problem of youth unemployment in Nigeria. There must be a conscious effort to encourage and develop this initiative. This is the future of the country. The youths need to wake up to this reality and jump on the ship now or else, they might regret not doing so many years down the line.”
Listing some of the essential qualities that an entrepreneur needs to possess in order to succeed, Afolabi said perfect business idea, vision, persistence, self-confidence, creativity and hard work would make all the difference.
He charged the undergraduates and their counterparts all around the country to change their current employment-seeking mindset and embrace entrepreneurship.