The Rector of Yaba College of Technology, Engr. Obafemi Omokungbe, has called for partnership between the private sector and technical schools in the country.
This, he said would help in training of more Nigerian youths in acquiring different skills sets.
He made this call in a recent interview with THISDAY, during the maiden graduation ceremony of 67 students from the Folorunso Alkija, Skills Acquisition Centre situated inside the school premises.
He said the school would not relent in its efforts towards driving entrepreneurship in the country, saying that it is its own contribution to empower out-of-school youths to be self-reliant.
According to him, “If you look at the world globally, skills are what the Chinese are using to move on. Once people are certificated with one skill or the other, we will not have unemployment crisis in the country and this is what can contribute to the national growth.
“We are still not done and we are calling on private sector to partner with us so that we can help more youths as possible, get them certified, in a bid to make them self-reliant. This we believe would bring a massive reduction in crime rates in the country.”
Responding to a question on challenges of entrepreneurship development in Nigeria, he said, “the greatest challenge in entrepreneurship development is the lack of adequate power supply,” noting that this was why most industries have closed shops relocating to other climes with more relatively stable power supply.
According to him, “When you use part of your money to generate energy, of course, your charges will be higher and the level of demand for your products would go down and that is not encouraging for an entrepreneur.
“The government must assist the entrepreneurs to make sure that there is energy to support businesses.”
On the proposed hike in Value Added Tax (VAT), he said: “If all necessary infrastructure are put in place, we would not feel the impact of the VAT increase, because in other countries, they pay more than eight per cent on all items they buy and they are not feeling it because the business environment is conducive.
“If we have the same situation here in Nigeria, I do not think we would be complaining, but I know the federal government in its wisdom is seriously doing something to make sure the environment is conducive for the business community.” he averred.