ENTREPRENEURSHIP: A SOLUTION TO UNEMPLOYMENT IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

This study examined entrepreneurial skill in reducing   unemployment in Nigeria with reference to ABC Transport Company in Anambra State. The broad objectives of this study is to examine the possible ways of eradicating unemployment through the introduction of entrepreneurial skills. The study is a descriptive survey design. Questionnaire items were distributed to 160 respondents to gather factual information about the topic. Their responses were tested using appropriate statistical tools like the simple percentage and the chi- square method. The study found that there are roles entrepreneurial skills and businesses play in employment in Nigeria through entrepreneurial development. Furthermore, it also shows that  Nigerians can be given basic training on how best to establish and grow business enterprises in local communities within the state. The study therefore recommends that the government should remove corruption and greed and formulate policies that will promote the success of entrepreneurship and free enterprise; the government should assist entrepreneurs through regular marketing workshops and seminars in conjunction with the manufacturers association of Nigeria (MAN) and chambers of commerce and industries.

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

            Before embracing the colonial government in Nigeria unemployment was a rare phenomenon because people were highly entrepreneurial and productivity engaged. In pre and post independence in Nigeria, the Igbo ethnic groups were recognized internationally for its culture of entrepreneurship and enterprise development (Dana, 1995).The Yorubas and Hausas were not left out either. Nigeria, like most developing nations of the world, is faced with a myriad of problems and realities which include poverty, unemployment, conflicts and diseases. These situations pose great challenges to the very existence of individuals in most developing nations thereby, calling for the training of educated men and women who can function effectively in the society in which they live.

However, successive administrations in Nigeria introduced formal education which enabled people to have the opportunity to be employed in the civil service after graduation. As such, the system destroyed self-reliance, self-employment and entrepreneurial skills of Nigerians as they became permanently dependent on the colonial masters (Nicks, 2008; Raimi, 2010) this led to massive unemployment and Craze in the contemporary times for “all –ready-made jobs. It is on this premise that this study seeks for the development of entrepreneurship in order to sustain an economy of high level unemployment reduction. Nigeria is a blessed country with numerous business and investment potentials due to the abundant, vibrant and dynamic human and natural resources it possesses. Nigerians have made remarkable achievements in diverse fields such as science, technology, academics, business and entertainment. Thus, entrepreneurship activities and innovative ingenuity in Nigeria have developed enterprises in following areas; Agriculture/ agro-allied activities where there are foodstuffs, restaurants, fast food vending etc. In the area of solid minerals, there are quarrying, perm stone Cutting/ Polishing and Gushing engineering, In power and transport, there are power generations, haulages business (cargo and passengers), in the area of information and telecom business, there are manufacturing and repairs of GSM accessories, in hospitality and tourism business, there are hotels, accommodation, resorts centers, cinemas, film and home video production; in oil and gas business, there are construction and maintenance of pipelines, drilling, refining by-products, etc). In spite of the fact that entrepreneurship development has been regarded as the bedrock for employment generation and technological development in Nigeria, the sector nevertheless has had its own fair share of neglect with concomitant unpleasant impacts on the economy.

Against this backdrop, entrepreneurship when and if gallantly developed in Nigeria will take his pride of place in reducing unemployment and thus generating employment among Nigerians especially the graduates and place the economy on a proper footing. It is in this respect that this paper seeks to investigate the connection between entrepreneurship, unemployment and employment generation in Nigeria.

Entrepreneurship generates growth because it serves as a vehicle for innovation, change, and a conduit for knowledge spillovers. Thus, in a regime of increased globalization, the comparative advantages of modern economies are shifting towards knowledge based economic activity, not only do entrepreneurship play a more important role, but also a recommendation for economic growth.

Education remains a vital transformational tool and formidable instrument for socio-economic empowerment, wealth creation, and employment generation, poverty alleviation and value orientation which the government has talked about for so long now. Suffice it to be mentioned that education, training and experience can increase the supply of entrepreneurs by making available more skills which are suitable for entrepreneurial endeavour.

Entrepreneurship education involves the willingness of persons to persistently pursue the opportunity to create wealth. This is done through innovative creation of products or services that will meet customers’ needs, using scarce resources judiciously in a way that results in the growth of enterprise which satisfies the expectation of stakeholders. Business education in Nigeria should emphasize entrepreneurship for it to be relevant in achieving the right type of value and attitudes for the survival of the individual and the Nigeria society.

Having been successfully equipped with entrepreneurial skills through persistent education, one is ready to contribute positively in reducing unemployment by being self-employed. Entrepreneurship education stands out to be an antidote to unemployment having worked in line with today’s educational policies that highlight self-reliance, self-employment, gainful employment and also consistent with the global awareness. Entrepreneurship education enhances the acquisition of necessary skills for gainful and self-employment. As a specialized training given to students to acquire skills, ideas and managerial abilities and capabilities for self-employment stands as a panacea to the unemployment saga in Nigeria (Ezema, 2005:20).