The Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, Dr Umaru Radda has said that lack of skills and entrepreneurial competence were some of the reasons Nigerian graduates were unemployable.
The DG stated this in Amawbia, near Awka, Anambra State capital during the opening ceremony of the sensitisation on the young business owners in Nigeria programme held on Thursday.
He said as a result of these, only one out of every 100 Nigerian graduates is employable.
He said it was towards addressing this challenge that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria had initiated the Young Business Owner in Nigeria .
The DG who was Represented by the director, policy, advocacy and coordination in the agency, Mr Monday Ewans, said the population of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 was rapidly on the increase, adding that the vast majority of them lived in the poor and emerging economies.
Part of the address presented on behalf of the DG read, ,”There is no doubt that the unemployment situation in Nigeria has reached a crisis level. Statistics have shown that only one out of every 100 graduates is assured of getting a job in Nigeria.
“One of the major causes of unemployment is skill shortages occasioned by dearth of skilled personnel and entrepreneurial competence, inadequate capacity of vocational skill centres and the non-orientation of the educational system to the production of vocational skills that are aligned to industry requirements.
“The Young Business Owners in Nigeria is designed to provide a platform where existing entrepreneurs either as standalone or cooperatives will be competitively selected for further supports. The support package is aimed at reducing some of the fundamental challenges that usually confront MSMEs.
“Essentially, the target beneficiaries are young people between the ages of 20 – 45 years. The focus on this target is because of the need to create new opportunities for employment and enterprises growth which are usually not easily realizable in start-ups.
“The selection criteria will be determined by the technical capacities of the promoters, available raw materials, markets, available skills, access to appropriate technologies, etc.
“The outcome of the needs assessment will form the basis for the design and delivery of the entrepreneurship training in each zone/state.