By Solomon Elusoji and Ugo Aliogo
A new group of Nigerian Professionals, the G-57, has said it will facilitate the creation of one million jobs, which will grow the countryâ€™s GDP to $4 trillion within eight years.
G-57â€™s Governing Board Chairman, Mr. Tom Isegohi, made this known to journalists at a press conference held in Lagos yesterday. The press conference also marked the end of G-57â€™s two-day strategy event with the theme: â€˜Designing the Nigeria we Wantâ€™.
When pressed by THISDAY, Isegohi, who is also former Chief Executive Officer of the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, avoided going into specific details of G-57â€™s plan for creating the one million jobs, but said the group was going to work â€œto put the right people in the right places.
â€œWe are not a political party. We are a non-partisan group of Nigerians who believe in the progress of Nigeria.â€
G-57 was launched on October 1 at this yearâ€™s Nigeriaâ€™s 57th independence anniversary. Since its launch, it has attracted 600 like-minded professionals who have a combined followership of 250,000 people, Isegohi said yesterday.
He said: â€œYou cannot buy your way into the group. The only way to get in is through invitation. If you do not believe in our values, if you donâ€™t have the type of moral compass we require, you cannot be a part of what we are doing.â€
Meanwhile, on the first day of the G-57 two-day conference, the Chief Executive Officer, Insight Publics, Feyi Olubodun, urged the federal government to harness the youth population of the country in order fast track the economic growth process.
He explained that the capacity of these youths to produce goods and services must be combined with several industries that are developing and growing, noting that if people have the skills to produce goods and services â€œbut the industry to absorb those goods and services are not strong enough, you will still have a gap.
â€œThe same thing applies when you have sectors and industries that are developing, but you donâ€™t have the people with the right skills to produce goods and services for those industries, you will still have a gap.â€
He stressed the need for government to look at the economy beyond the single sector outlook, stating that sector such as the agriculture has not been largely tapped into. â€œWhile we are doing subsistence farming, we are yet to move into more advanced level of agro-allied development where the value chain is fully rich and developed,â€ he said.
Olubodun lamented that 50 percent of tomatoes produced are wasted due to lack of logistics and modern preservation mechanism.
He added: â€œWe have to work with the youths to make them employable, have real skills and do something. It ranges from corporate to vocational skills. As a country, we have de-emphasised the role vocational skills in nation building. We have placed more importance of having corporate skills. Advance economies donâ€™t run only on corporate skills. There is a bunch of vocational skills that drive the economy. We are training many people for the corporate world. They cannot all be absorbed by the corporate world. There should be transfer of skills and wisdom. We need to pay attention to the fundamentals of the society.â€