Group Calls for Change of Approach in Youth Empowerment


Joshua Odebisi

The President, Africa Young Entrepreneurs (AYE), Mr. Summy Francis, has called for a change in approach by the government with regards to empowering young entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

Francis who disclosed this recently at a media briefing in Lagos, advised the government to look for existing structures to empower entrepreneurs and condemned the misguided approach by the government in setting up of committees, funds run by career politicians and non-business people.

 “What is really affecting us as a nation is the fact that we come up with funds and grants, but they are infected with nepotism,” he noted.

He also advised the government to collaborate with organisations such as AYEEN to set up and manage any grants the government might want to give, adding that the organisation has proven track record in empowering entrepreneurs

He implored all promising Nigeria entrepreneurs and startups to sign up for AYEEN2017 through their online platform.

Also speaking at the event, National Head of A.Y.E, Mr. Olubunmi Oluwadare, appealed to government to strive towards improving infrastructure in the country and leave the empowerment of entrepreneurs to the more qualified.

He said the data in the agriculture value chain has the capacity to take 20 million Nigerians out of poverty, a feat that could only be achieved through real entrepreneurship advocacy at the grass-root level.

He added: “The products consumed in Lagos are supplied by other states from as far away as the North, the transporters who are supplying these products are part of the value chain. The government are not sincere about encouraging agricultural entrepreneurship, what they are doing is a political jamboree.

“If you want to create genuine jobs, give the responsibility to the entrepreneurs who will run the businesses for profit. If the government were the ones setting up the refinery in Lagos, the project would be abandoned at some stage. So let the government stop these political jamborees and focus on building infrastructure and empowering the citizenry with environmental policies.”

The representatives of A.Y.E also announced the signing of a new partnership agreement between A.Y.E and AIROPAY. The Chief Executive Officer of AIROPAY, Mr. Charles Oyakhilome, expressed support for the project and promised to bring economic development to the nation and create jobs for the youths.