AFRICANGLOBE – Nigeria’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on Tuesday, inaugurated the University Entrepreneurship Development Programme (UNEDEP) in Abuja, to promote self-employment amongst youth.
According to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, the programme was part of government’s proactive strategies to tackle graduate unemployment.
UNEDEP will be implemented by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education.
The programme was created to enhance and re-orientate the values of undergraduates while providing a mentoring platform for students, reduce poverty and youth unemployment, re-orientate the undergraduate toward the right values among other objectives .
Speaking during the unveiling of the programme, Aganga, said the programme would give students the opportunity for practical hands on experience to enable them to successfully manage their own businesses.
“UNEDEP’s mission is to ‘catch them young’. The programme focuses on entrepreneurship development of undergraduates and aims to create future entrepreneurs; encourage self-employment; embed business ethics among the youth and consequently reduce the incidence of poverty.
“We will achieve this by using the existing Network for African Student Entrepreneurs club structure and deriving a standard schedule of activities for all members across all universities.
“Part of our strategy is to assess existing scalable student businesses to determine ways to enhance these, and then, creating a platform for student mentoring by successful entrepreneurs. Our goal is for students to receive the necessary capacity building as part of the activities of the entrepreneurship clubs.”
Relatively, Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayyatu Rufai, in her sppech adjudged that there is need for the country to promote the culture of entrepreneurship among students to reduce unemployment.
“All over the world, entrepreneurship has been identified as the major driver of economic growth and development… The success of many economies can be traced to entrepreneurs who started small and then grew to become multinationals,” she said.
By: Oluwabusayo Sotunde