Address by Iyalode Alaba Lawson, NACCIMA National President at the Kano Youth Enterprise Summit
ADDRESS BY IYALODE ALABA LAWSON, MFR, FIoD, JP, NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE, INDUSTRY, MINES AND AGRICULTURE (NACCIMA) DURING THE YOUTH ENTERPRISE SUMMIT, KANO 2018 HOLDING ON WEDNESDAY, 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2018 AT THE CORONATION HALL, GOVERNMENT HOUSE, KANO STATE.
I thank you all for the invitation to be part of the Kano Youth Summit. I am indeed delighted to be here today. On behalf of the Council, Executives and entire members of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), I welcome all participants and distinguished guests and particularly NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs members from all over Nigeria. This is the first NACCIMAYouth Enterprise Summit (YES), taking place in Kano 2018 and being organized by the NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs, Kano State Chapter. For us, it is therefore historic.
I wish in particular to express my deep appreciation to Your Excellency, in your capacity as the Executive Governor of Kano State.
This is in recognition of the contribution of your administration towards the success of this Summit. NACCIMA also want to acknowledge the contributions of the Kano State Government for its unrelenting support to the Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA) which under the inspirational leadership of President, Alhaji Dalhatu Abubakar is doing great things as evidenced by the various people oriented development programmes and projects by your administration, with particular focus on the youth. Sir, NACCIMA is proud of the cordial relations we have with your administration and wish you greater success.
We are also deeply honoured by the presence of His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, CON. This is a clear indication of your conviction in infinite faith in the potentials in our youth as the leaders of tomorrow. We are aware of your steadfast advocacy for an inclusive educational policy and support for youth and women’s empowerment.
We thank you for your progressive stand on this issue and support your view that our youth should not be agents of violence, especially as we approach the 2019 General Elections in Nigeria.
Let me also commend in particular, a family member of the Chamber Movement, Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu, one of NACCIMA’s National Vice Presidents and current Kano State Honorable Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Tourism and Cooperative, who is. We are proud of his commitment to inclusive growth development in Kano State and for the well-being of the people of the State. We also thank him for his support to the Kano State Chapter of the NYE.
I also applaud the Executive, Council and members of KACCIMA for the support they continue to offer the Youth in their Chamber which has today led to the first Youth Enterprise Summit (YES). This is a clear indication of your commitment to include our Youth in the process of national development. This is because our youth, as we all know are our future, a fact which inspired the creation of the NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs Group. I am delighted at the progress being made since we created NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs. Our objectives among others, is to support youth entrepreneurs, increase their capacity to thrive in their chosen careers and businesses. This is also to reduce the high unemployment rate we have been faced with as a country for many years now. I am glad to say that we are steadily on the path to achieving our set goals.
Let me also use this occasion to thank the various Coordinators of the NYE and the National Coordinator, Mr. Abiola Ogundeko for keeping the NYE vision alive. It is a vision, which through inspirational leadership and dedication, the Kano State Coordination for the NYE Mr. Muhammad A. Muhammad and his colleagues have given meaning to through this Summit. They have proved that through diligence and dedication and support from government the young people can achieve alot.
So congratulation to them for making the NACCIMA Youth Enterprise Summit 2018, the first of its kind possible. I therefore encourage you all not to rest on your oars but continue to strive for more excellence. I pledge my unflinching support to the NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs (NYE) and earnestly pray that JEHOVAH will all your efforts will yield great results.
Fourteen months ago, when I inaugurated the NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs (NYE) and gave them all a mandate to explore their entrepreneurship abilities while developing their capacity to create more employment opportunities; I knew it was a tall order. I am very however pleased to state that members of the NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs (NYE) have done considerably well in the last 1 year. I am most delighted that the Kano State chapter in particular has taken up the challenge and is today holding the Summit.
The theme for this Summit is Innovate, Network and Conquer. These are fundamentals for success in any field or endeavour. Through innovative and networking activities since their establishment NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs have demonstrated their capacities to conquer.
I am therefore proud to say that the NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs is made up of innovative and illustrious youths from all works of life eager to make significant contributions to nation building. They have demonstrated these through various business enterprises in the areas of manufacturing, e-Commerce, Travel and Tourism and Agriculture with its value multiple value chain. They have also shown their activities as young entrepreneurs, we can make significant achievement to reduce unemployment which is a real challenge for us as a nation especially among our young people.
According to most recent National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report, unemployment in our nation stands at 18.8% and this is mostly among our youth. This is considering the fact that within our national population estimated at over 198 million the youth make up over 60. This also means and ours is a nation of youth and we must take steps to provide jobs and opportunities for them to harness their energy.
And in that connection I will like to draw your attention to the Next Generation Nigeria Report of 2010 which states that Youth not oil will be the country’s most valuable resource in the twenty-first century. The report further counsels that investment in the youth is imperative to equipping them for life especially in a modern economy. This same report which I encourage you all to read, stresses the need to prioritize acquisition of skills and expansion of vocational training that can lead to employment and creation of an anticipated 25 million jobs over the next ten years. These facts convinced NACCIMA on the need to push for expansion of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Dual Vocational Trainings.
We recently worked with Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), for a 2-day training at FIIRO on producing fruit juice, yam flours etc.. In collaboration with the NEPC, we also held a training for business opportunities in the areas of Non-Oil Export. Many of our youth have attended. NACCIMA is also a stakeholder on the Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) and in the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
We work with countries like Germany whose Vocational Training framework is outstanding and worthy of emulation and notably, NACCIMA signed MoU with German-African Business Association.
These are some of the areas we have been working on with several collaborators to provide opportunities for our Youth through the NYE. And we shall continue to explore other areas which will be of opportunity for you. You have done quite well. I closely monitor your activities through your various whatsapp platforms and through your reports. I urge you all not to rest on your oars but to continue to work as a team because together, you all can achieve even greater heights.
You may be award, that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, GCON during the first MSME Awards event held in July this year, announced establishment of the 5% credit facility for MSMEs. I urge you all to key into this initiative to support your businesses ventures or start new ones. There are also various loan facilities for Youth and MSMEs, offered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP).
Other opportunities are also available under the Bank of Industry (BOI) Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) and the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) through some Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) which have lower interest rates. Find out more about these programmes. You must however remember that to succeed as entrepreneur in business you need a bankable business plan, credible market research, clear understanding of the business of interest, book keeping ability, etc. Therefore, pay attention to all of these.
I will once again, like to reiterate that the youth are without doubt one of the most important resources the nation has; your energy, versatility, entrepreneurial spirit and doggedness has the ability to drive the economy. The challenges to business such as inadequate / poor infrastructure and access to credit amongst others still exist. Don’t let these discourage you. Be courageous and explore the various opportunities available don’t be afraid because of possible failure. Failure is part of success in life. If you stumble you should get up and push on. The Government through its programmes and initiatives are working to create an enabling business environment. Hence I urge you all to get ready to key into opportunities as they come.
I once again welcome all dignitaries, Paper presenters, Panellists and other distinguished guests to the Youth Enterprise Summit (YES) 2018. I commend the Kano Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KACCIMA) for a successful event and wish us all fruitful deliberations.
Thank you for listening and God bless.
IYALODE ALABA LAWSON, MFR, FIoD, JP.
National President, NACCIMA