Tansian University Chancellor Stresses Need For Entrepreneural Spirit

The Founder/Chancellor, Tansian University, Anambra State, Prof Johnbosco Akam, has called on the government to provide soft loan schemes for young graduates and other youths with vocational skills.
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The Founder/Chancellor, Tansian University, Anambra State, Prof Johnbosco Akam, has called on the government to provide soft loan schemes for young graduates and other youths with vocational skills. 

He said providing support for those that had acquired skills but have no money to set up their businesses would help reduce unemployment and crime wave among Nigerian youths.
Prof Akam made the appeal in his keynote address, Combating Unemployment In Nigeria: The Role of Entrepreneurship, presented at the grand finale of the Nigeria Entrepreneurship Challenge and Enterprise Awards 2015 held at Prof. Kenneth Dike Library Auditorium, Awka.  He said a lot needed to be done to create more entrepreneurs that would become employers of labour in the country. According to him, skill acquisition centres should put in place in all the communities, to teach skills to unemployed youths, towards self-employment, even as he further called on the universities, polytechnics, monotechnics, technical colleges and all schools responsible for grooming youths to rise to their responsibilities.

“Government relevant agencies should wake all schools from their slumber, through stringent measures. Government on its part should provide the needed equipment and ensure that the trainers are properly trained first and adequately motivated”.

The organizer of the event, Mr. David Agu, a young law graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and Publisher of Aluta Newspaper and The Entrepreneur Magazine, said the competition was a platform to empower youths. According to him, the screening exercise for participants was held in Anambra and Enugu states, where the contestants showcased their products in the presence of judges who were also young people that had distinguished themselves in their fields of various engagements.
Some of the goods and services displayed were ice block chest/cooling van, furniture design/carpentry work, household products like toilet/car wash/liquid soap, cybercafé business, bead/bag making, clothes making/fashion academy, book writing, catering, perfume production, decoration/ cake making, data management for organizations, paint production, football performance/entertainment and tailoring.

Contestants were assessed based on the presentation of products/goods/services and the contribution such could make in the society as well as the idea behind the business. Also among the judging criteria were the marketing skills, the business forecast, the employability, the ability to improve oneself either by informal or formal education, the talents and the skills of the intending entrepreneur, amongst other strong points.

Agu noted that “scoring of the contestants was in two halves. The first half of the scoring was by the judges based on the performance of the contestants at the screening. The other half was made after the contestants return the proceeds from the sale of six copies of The Entrepreneur Magazine”.
When asked the reasons for mandating the contestants to sell the magazine, Agu explained that it was a way of testing their marketing skills; that is the ability to convince someone to buy a product which according to him is one of the most important attributes of an entrepreneur.

During the first edition, it was solely handled by Mr. Agu, but this second edition was in partnership with the office of the Senior Special Assistant to Anambra State governor on Youth Mobilization, chaired by Hon. Tony-Uche Ezekwelu.

In his remarks, Ezekwelu noted that empowering the youths means empowering the society and also assured that some of the youths, especially the indigenes of Anambra State, would be given special consideration in the youth programmes of the Chief Willie Obiano administration. He disclosed that a programme is being designed in partnership with Spain for capacity building of Anambra youth.
Ezekwelu, who drew lessons from his own life and career, noted that certificate does not in any way depict the quality of knowledge one has, but only shows the quality of information in someone. He advised youths to continue acquiring knowledge with the aim of creating opportunities, while noting that the government of Chief Willie Obiano indeed appreciates the input of Mr David Agu, the initiator of the programme.

Over 50 intending entrepreneurs from the different parts of the country signed up for the Nigerian Entrepreneurship 2015 Challenge. Out of these, only one person won the star prize. However, cash prizes were giving to others who made the final list to support their already budding businesses.

High points of the event was the presentation of cash prizes to the winners and the conferment of a special Youth Enterprise Award on the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, Chairman/CEO Orient Group Ltd, Very Rev. Monsignor (Prof) Akam, Founder/Chancellor Tansian University, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, Innoson Group Ltd, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, Vice Chancellor Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, among others.

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