Former Minister of Youth and Sports Development Bolaji Abdullahi says that entrepreneurship cannot solve Nigeria’s problems.
The former minister said this at the Citizens Conference organized by the Africa Millennials Active Citizenship Advocacy Africa Network (MACAA) on Saturday.
Speaking about entrepreneurship and the role of governance, Abdullahi said that entrepreneurship is an “escapist method” spread by an “irresponsible” government to delegate its responsibilities.
The conference, held virtually, was aimed at helping young Nigerians see the possibilities for hope, restoration and prosperity in the country.
In his speech, Simon Kolawole, founder of TheCable, asked young people to search for ideas that align with their passion.
Kolawole, who was the keynote speaker, said that people tend to be successful with the things they do “effortlessly” and with enthusiasm, noting that successful people in today’s world turned their passion into money.
“A million ideas come to your mind, don’t jump from one to another, find the one that aligns with your passion. What ideas do you have? People who follow their passion tend to be more successful than others. Look for what you do effortlessly with enthusiasm, ”he said.
“The one that you are passionate about and gives you joy. And it goes into planning and preparation to turn ideas into opportunities. “
He advised young people to “register” their ideas before seeking help from someone because respect for intellectual property is low in the country.
“It is also good to register your idea, we live in a society where there is still not enough respect for intellectual property. Most of the advanced countries that you see today, if you look at the basis of everything they are doing, it is respect for intellectual ideas. If you have any ideas, please register them. It’s not that someone is trying to steal your idea, ”he said.
Kolawole listed the ways that young people can turn their ideas into opportunities such as: research (SWOT analysis); planning and preparation; have role models and mentors; support systems; stress management and adequate funding.
During the panel segment, Shina Peller, member of the House of Representatives; Seyi Awolowo, media entrepreneur; Deyemi Okanlawon, actor and filmmaker, and Fateemah Mamza, CEO of Mamza Beauty, discussed topics related to entrepreneurship, youth participation in politics, the state of the nation, and the EndSARS protests.
For her part, Fateemah Mamza asked young people to strive for excellence in their field, adding that there are many problems to be solved in the country.
For her part, Deyemi Okanlawon advised young people not to create ideas that are isolated from their realities, suggesting that they should be able to relate well to their ideas to avoid the problem of funding.
Speaking about youth participation in politics, Peller asked those who are interested in the 2023 elections to begin preparations from their neighborhood because that is the basis of politics.
The legislator advised young people to identify opportunities at the grassroots, before entering politics; to fill in the correct space.
Also speaking, Seyi Awolowo said that it is important for the government to create an environment in which Nigerian youth can develop their potential, adding that good policies are only made in relation to the state of mind of those in government.