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ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS A PANACEA TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
1.1 Background of the study
Nigeria as a country fully endowed with human and material resources have the right playing ground for business and investment purposes. Prior to the 80s, unemployment and poverty were not as disturbing as what it is now. However, inconsistencies in the socio-economic policies of successive governments contributed to the increase in unemployment and poverty. During this period, many workers were laid off, and early retirement of employees due to some shaky government policies. Nigeria as a developing country is improving in economic sectors such as science, technology, sports, entertainment, and agriculture. Innovative end- products are derived from each of this sectors-foodstuff from agriculture, in the area of technology we have phones/laptops repair, sales of recharge cards, in engineering we have cases of road construction, in tourism we have the preservation of our culture and the list continues. Notwithstanding all these human and material resources Nigeria is blessed with, it is still referred to as one of the poorest countries in sub-Sahara Africa (Salami,2011 p:10). It is obvious on the way some countries have encouraged the entrepreneur sector, thus reducing the level of unemployment to the barest minimum, but that cannot be said of Nigeria. As the government has done little or nothing to bring a lasting solution to this problem; thus leading to increase in crime and other vices just to meet ends needs.
The role of entrepreneurship in the curbing of unemployment, unstable economic growth and development cannot be emphasized. The current state of the global world brings entrepreneurship to a fore. Countries practicing capitalism makes the current state of the economy glaring that private ownership of business is a way forward. The youths are unemployed not because they don’t have the qualifications; but because politically, economically and even religiously the systems are paralyzed (Kuratko, 2009). Entrepreneurship constitutes immensely to the social, economic, financial and otherwise development of any country. Due to this, successive governments have tried to revive this sector while current governments seem more serious; and that is why they saddled some agencies with the responsibility of achieving this-agencies like: National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), etc. the truth still remains that for a country to grow in all ramifications, it must have strong private partners who involve in wealth creation, backed with great skills. (Akpomi ,2009 p:156). It is crystal clear that entrepreneurship development enhances the sustainable development of a country, the sector has been neglected and of cause, this has an effect on the economy. Bearing the aforementioned in mind, entrepreneurship if given the needed attention it requires will place Nigeria on the right pedestal nationally and internationally. This study is aimed at presenting entrepreneurship as a panacea to current economic challenges facing Nigeria, most especially the high level of unemployment.
1.2 Statement of the problem
It is quite disheartening on how the teeming population of unemployed graduates of Nigeria keeps increasing on a daily basis. There are no white collar jobs and this is what every Nigerian graduate looks up to after his national youth service (NYSC). Due to this, some of resorted to very dubious means of making money, with cases of arm robbery attacks, kidnapping, prostitution, drug/human trafficking, oil theft, etc always on the news. Another problem to the subject matter is that the government is not doing the needful to revive the entrepreneurship sector and this is tied to a major problem of the country; which is corruption. The agencies saddled with this responsibility are dormant doing nothing, other than embezzling funds allocated for such task. On some occasions, you have the government allocate certain funds to purchase equipment meant to empower youths who have learnt some skills, but at the end of the day such funds are diverted.
In addition to this, schools, secondary and tertiary institutions are lack entrepreneurship education of students. Students are not well enlightened on the need to have a skill and create their own wealth instead of waiting for the government to create employment. However, Nigeria being a mono economy also poses a challenge. Nigerians including the government concentrates so much on the oil sector, thus relegating other sectors of the economy that can create jobs for the unemployed. Meanwhile, these are some of the problems this study will be seeking ways of proffering solutions to.
1.3 Aims/ Objectives of the study