Blueprint for Nigeria’s Economic Breakthrough

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By; Victor Dazang
As the nation’s economy dwindles, frantic, result-oriented and feasible meassures are the panacea to forestall further recession. The aforementioned are the obligations the powers that be ought to embrace and shoulder. However, we must all be cognizance of the fact that nation building and development are concerted efforts of genuine compatriots.
However, national discourse of crucial gravities such as the one in question are often intriguing to any media outfits such as this medium being an esteemed publication that is saddled with the task of proffering solutions in the heat of such gloom.
This demystifies the school-of-thought that new wine cannot be kept in an old wineskin. To confirm this assertion, let’s not forget the Hausa adage that connotes; medicine is made with old honey. Unique economic development concepts must not be ignored but imbibed and emulated.
The Grameen Bank was founded in 1983 by Mohammed Yunus of Bangladesh. Until today, it stands-out as the pioneer of micro credit finance throughout the world.  Though it was conceptualised in a developing economy, the latter preoccupied itself issuing micro credit loans to women as well as groups of women.
 
Micro credits are loans issued to people especially small scale entrepreneurs without collaterals, consistent income and other similar privileges. The importance of such innovations on the economy is that it integrates a large unproductive segment once circumstantially rendered redundant by recessed economy and other elements of underdevelopment, a situation synonymous with Nigeria’s. The dis-similarity is outrightly in the negligence of buoyant indigenous investors, the rich class. In this part of the world, exotic mansions, cars and holidays are paramount.
 
However, in  every unpatriotic situation that seemingly overtakes a country’s moguls subduing and overwhelmed  by mundane competition and rivalry,  somebody must seek to write his name in gold and one man that is outstanding here is Tony Elumelu.  The man conceptualised Elumelu Foundation Enterpreneurship Programme(TEEP), a flagship under the auspices of Tony Elumelu Foundation. He is inspired by the belief that a vibrant African-led private sector is the key to unlocking Africa’s economic and social potential. The programme is geared towards accomplishing the mission to institutionalise and steer luck-enabling-Pan African businesses to emerge and mature.
 
The unique purpose of the programme is to identify 10, 000 African startups with success inclined ideas. These startups will be privileged to reap series of benefits which include; skills training, mentoring, access to the capital, information and membership in Africa-wide alumni network to propell the business.
 
About 1,000,000 new jobs are expected to be created and $10 billion    is targeted over 10 Years. The impact of TEEP’s exploit and magnanimous stride is substantialised in the breakthrough imparted on its beneficiaries as one Chiom has this to say “Tony Elumelu Foundation has empowered our commitment to put smiles on the  faces of environmentally responsible citizens  by  creating value from their everyday waste”. Likewise one Aron, another beneficiary confirm that “TEEP is the energiser of my honey processing business, without TEEP, I was not going to implement my business ideas”.
 
If nation building was to be our watchword, Elumelu ought to be emulated by the business class segment of the populace. The boom that could be triggered if there were more than twenty of his type, remains unimaginable in the long run.  The media in its bid to observe social responsibility as professional role ought to be cognizance of the compelling need of the business sector to imbibe same policy. It also ought to be necessitated by the economic situation in question to being skeptical about people who bag its awards.
 
Compatriots such as Elumelu deserve to be prioritised and supported to earn more feather to their caps. If the latter endures as an adhered principle  by the media, other business moguls would be compelled to emulate Elumelu.
Government ‘s intervention on unemoployment; a situation which is disturbing and synonymous with poverty and economic backwardness is always a commendable stride. The past administration innovated the YouWin programme though, the present administration contemplated scraping it. Certainly, any government in power is discretional about programme sustenance or termination, a plea was made by the former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala urging President Muhammadu Buhari not to scrap it. If such a programme must be discarded, a commensurate substitute should be conceptualised.
A review of the programme’s meaning, aims and objectives would depict YouWin as; Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria.  It targets jobs creation by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas. Women were much inclusive in its second edition, however the third edition portrayed the all-inclusive background of the programme, harnessing all genders. The programme’s objective is to create jobs by supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth.
 
This is to be accomplished by providing equity grants to start or expand business concepts. It also aims at jobs creation targeting 110,000 new jobs for unemployed youth, integrates them into a professional network.
Unique economic inputs often impact enormous macro benefits regardless of the fact whether they are governmental or privately executed. Innumerable businesses would emerge culminating into economic boom through payment of taxes, intensive revenue generation  and establishing lucrative ground for subsidiaries to be instituted upon. Their employment benefits cannot be ignored nor underestimated as the much-talk-about insecurity which has undermined peace and tranquility could be surmountable.
 
The government is obviously obliged to the citizenry to creating peaceful coexistence. This is achievable by empowering security agencies with due arms and reviving training  in all the security agencies to stimulate a combat-ready armed forces. The need to defeating insurgency remains paramount as that would certainly erase fear and doubt which have been constituting impediment against the influx of foreign investors. An investor-friendly Nigeria is master key to unlocking barriers against investments inflow.

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