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ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION: A TOOL FOR REDUCING UNEMPLOYMENT IN NIGERIA (vol. 1)

As there are a large number of unemployed graduates, one of the most pressing issues in Nigeria today is the need to create more opportunities in order to reduce mass unemployment, which has become a top priority requiring immediate action. This concept would only be effective if attitudes towards entrepreneurship education were altered.

The yearly increase in the number of children attending school and completing tertiary education without employment is alarming, and millions of young people face dismal job prospects. The increase in the number of young people enrolled in secondary and tertiary education is a positive trend; however, labour markets in many nations are currently unable to absorb the expanding population of skilled youth.

An estimated 800 million new jobs would be required to assimilate the youth of today. Due to the decline in employment and the increase in unemployment, young people are compelled to work in the formal sector. Increasing rates of unemployment, destitution, corruption, kidnapping, and so many other social problems are a source of concern for the Nigerian government and every concerned citizen.

 

Over 90 million Nigerians are estimated to be living below the poverty line as a result of unemployment, which is one of the greatest problems confronting developing nations today. Entrepreneurship education entails training individuals to comprehend and cultivate essential entrepreneurial attributes, skills, and behaviours. Because entrepreneurship education seeks to prepare people, especially youths, to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs thinkers and who contribute to economic development and sustainable communities, entrepreneurship education is capable of reducing unemployment to the lowest level in any nation.

The problem of unemployment is particularly tragic as the number of individuals seeking employment after graduating from various institutions grows daily. This is why entrepreneurship education as a course of study is required at the tertiary level, and one of the goals can be as simple as an instrument for securing employment and the emancipation of people through the provision and acquisition of the knowledge and skills required to improve their lives.

Rather than focusing on white collar employment, secondary and tertiary education in Nigeria must prepare young generations for self-sufficiency. This includes polytechnic, NCE, and university education.

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If Nigeria desires to move away from the alarmingly high unemployment rate and the ravaging levels of poverty, corruption, and kidnapping, adequate attention must be given to the growth of entrepreneurship education. They concluded that Nigeria remains in the doldrums due to ignorance, low capacity building, and the lack of encouragement of entrepreneurship education.

A meticulous examination of the current state of affairs in Nigeria reveals that the education system is not in the twenty-first century. A system in which a significant emphasis is still placed on the traditional classroom environment, with a heavy emphasis on certificates for graduates who are, in the majority of cases, trained to be job seekers, as evidenced by the nation’s current high unemployment rate.

However, we must acknowledge that the times have changed, and we must adapt by transitioning from the Adam Smith-inspired concept of the industrialised specialist, which has outlived its usefulness, to a more dynamic, resourceful, and ICT-based model that places a premium on skills and creativity.

According to the National Populations Commission (2006), more than half of the Nigerian population is under 30 years old. Therefore, it can be asserted that the Nigerian economy is a youth economy. In a brief decade, the youth of today will likely become tomorrow’s parents, leaders, labour force, president, teacher, and armies. However, Nigerian youths reportedly face poverty, unemployment, kidnapping, corruption, urbanisation, and a dearth of the capacity and skills required to advance the economy. As stated by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), one of the objectives of entrepreneurship education at the tertiary level is the acquisition of physical and intellectual skills that will enable individuals to be self-sufficient. This demonstrates that the Nigerian government’s blueprint emphasises self-reliance and self-employment in order to develop and uphold the economy, thereby reducing unemployment in Nigeria.

 

Graduate unemployment is a significant problem The predicament of joining innumerable other weary job seekers on the streets is a significant source of difficulty for university undergraduates in Nigeria. This issue is not mitigated, but rather exacerbated, as private sector organisations have realised they must implement new technologies and processes in order to survive the intense competition brought about by globalisation. More jobs are being superseded by technological advancements. The need to create more employment is an obvious reason for the significance of entrepreneurship education.

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The study and practise of entrepreneurship will provide available vehicles and financial development, representing a way of thinking and acting that is advantageous for success in a wide variety of endeavours and in life in general. Nevertheless, the need for new employment appears to be the primary motivation for promoting entrepreneurship education.

Among the benefits of Entrepreneurship Education are:

The programme of entrepreneurship education has helped students gain knowledge and understanding of the concept: entrepreneurship education provides students with early exposure to the world of business and wealth creation. In addition, it provides students with a comprehension of the roles entrepreneurs play in society.

Entrepreneurial education assists students in recognising and pursuing entrepreneurship as a career option. Education about entrepreneurship has increased students’ awareness of self-employment as a viable career option.

Even with the availability of white-collar paid employment in the private and public sectors, professional careers remain elusive for graduates. In order to generate additional income and lift themselves and their families out of poverty, it is also advantageous for individuals to develop entrepreneurial skills.

Young people (children) and women are the hardest hit by the financial predicament of the Nigerian masses/population, poverty and unemployment cuts across all social strata, and it now appears that a university education cannot serve as a lifeline out of poverty due to the alarming number of graduates still searching for jobs that do not exist or accepting jobs below their qualification. This is evidenced by the increasing number of college graduates who, out of desperation for employment, accept positions as small office assistants and secretaries, nursery and primary school instructors, and even security guards.

Entrepreneurship education helps students develop economic and financial literacy; as a result, students gain a deeper understanding of economic and financial issues pertaining to entrepreneurship. They are familiar with the procedures for assessing markets for business opportunities, financing initiatives, and resolving business issues.

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It has instilled in students the spirit of self-employment and wealth creation, making them aware of the need to engage in entrepreneurial activities not only for self-sufficiency but also for the benefit of the larger community. In present-day Nigeria, the importance of entrepreneurship cannot be overstated, as unemployed graduates can rely on their skills and entrepreneurial knowledge to discover market opportunities and maximise production factors to their advantage.

Impediments to Entrepreneurship Education in Nigeria

There are a number of obstacles to entrepreneurship education in Nigeria, including:

Inadequate Capital

Inadequate capital to launch a business after acquiring or learning certain skills in school or other institutions is one of the most significant obstacles to entrepreneurship education in Nigeria, resulting in high unemployment rates.

Inadequate Policy Implementation and Formulation

Some Nigerian policies are not effectively implemented due to political incompetence, which has a negative impact on entrepreneurship education and contributes to unemployment.

Insufficient Social Support for Entrepreneurship Education in Nigeria

In Nigeria, entrepreneurship education is not encouraged by society because colonial masters were educated to pursue white-collar jobs rather than being job creators, as is emphasised by entrepreneurship education.

Unhealthy and volatile macroeconomic climate.

The inability to achieve macroeconomic goals will necessitate that entrepreneurs forego investment opportunities. For instance, the Boko Haram issue, political instability, and so forth create an unstable economic environment that discourages investment.

People’s Reluctance to Engage in Risky Entrepreneurial Activities

Fear of taking risks in business is a result of insecurity in the country, which also impedes entrepreneurship education and contributes to unemployment.

Alternatives to Obstacles to Entrepreneurship Education in Nigeria

a. The government should provide capital to senior-year pupils to encourage them to start businesses.

b. Students should be instructed on how to take calculated risks, which will help them partake in business ventures.

c. Nigeria should develop and implement policies that promote entrepreneurship education.

d. Students should be encouraged to pursue entrepreneurship education at various institutions of higher learning.

e. the macroeconomic environment should be healthy and stable to encourage graduates to invest in all regions of the nation.

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