President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Sunday called on the nation’s youths to venture into entrepreneurship through their mobile phones as a way of self-employment and creating job opportunities for others.
Saraki, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja, gave the charge while delivering the Fourth Convocation Lecture of Adeleke University, Ede in the State of Osun, on Sunday.
In his paper with the title, “National Economic Development Through Entrepreneurship: The Role of Private Universities in Nigeria,” Saraki said it had become imperative for youths not to see their phones as fashion accessories alone, but potent platforms to launch themselves into entrepreneurship and gainful self-employment.
Saraki said: “To the graduating students, I will say that it is perhaps true that Nigerian youths are not currently maximising the potential that social media has for stimulating entrepreneurship in many areas, including those that were unheard of just a few years ago.
“I would like to see more young Nigerians put what they learned in the university to impactful use by leveraging on the social media’s abundant opportunity for business ventures.
“Entrepreneurship starts with a mindset; form networks, begin to see your phone as a business tool and not just a fashion accessory; get tutorials for starting new businesses or to ginger new business ideas.
“There is no reason why any of today’s graduating students cannot become a Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, net worth $5 billion – or Brian Chesky, a co-founder of Air BnB. Michelle Phan of the cosmetic business Ipsy is now worth $300 million – not bad for someone who first started by uploading her videos on YouTube,” he declared.
He stated that due to its belief that entrepreneurship was crucial to the success of the economy, the National Assembly had since prioritised the passage of landmark economic laws to enable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to grow.
He urged private universities to rise to the challenge of promoting private enterprises by ensuring that entrepreneurial skills were taught across various disciplines.
He said: “The education ethos ought to move away from the over-emphasis on theory-based approach and paper certification towards inculcating practical skills that support apprenticeship and boost innovation and industry.
“This is the place of Vocational and Technical education which provides that the youth imbibe practical skills that will not only make them employable but will also help the country to build an army of job providers.”
The President of the Senate also charged the graduates to be good ambassadors for their alma mater – Adeleke University – and good economic ambassadors for their generation and for the country.
“Endeavour always to be a credit to yourselves, to your families, your communities, and your country. The motto of this university is ‘Education, Excellence and Character’ – I encourage you to be exemplars of this motto. Be lifelong students, live the knowledge culture; an individual that never ceases to learn, never ceases to grow,” he stated.