Wednesday, January 08, 2020 / 12:25 PM / Nifemi Taiyese for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Caladium Consulting Ltd.
Nigeria's high domestic unemployment rate has raised increasing concerns amongst private sector stakeholders as economists and business owners alike begin to fret over growing youth restlessness.
In a recent discussion with WebTV, Mr. Ayo Bankole-Akintujoye strategy expert and convener, Lagos SME Bootcamp noted that there needs to be a paradigm shift in government with both the government and citizens recognizing the need for technology in transforming the economy and driving faster growth and employment. He pointed out that in a changing economic ecosystem that is technology-dependent, the government must realize the need for improved education and retraining of the labour force.
He acknowledged the fact that Nigeria has attracted huge investments in technology, but the regulatory environment has stifled the prospects for growth.
Bankole cited the example of the Fintech Industry, which is meant to provide alternatives and disruptions to the traditional banking system but is still restricted by several Central Bank of Nigeria regulations, limiting Fintech expansion.
He called for flexibility in regulation, especially for the financial services industry and the tech sector, and emphasized the need for increased funding to enhance financial liquidity.
He advocated for initiatives that can cause the adoption of technology to scale-up businesses and drive productivity.
On her part, Mrs. Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka, General Manager, Enterprise Marketing, MTN Nigeria, said a huge part of the problem with the unemployment rate in Nigeria is the relatively small number of skilled people in the country.
According to her, "A lot of people are not employable because they do not have the right skills for the respective jobs".
She pointed to the need for a high level of technical and digital skills for Nigerians, to position them for the jobs in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
Ikenna-Emeka tasked Nigerians to take advantage of online training courses on their own outside the conventional box of schools/institutions or organizations where they work.
Speaking further, she described the internet as a pool of resources for Nigerians to learn and acquire new skills and also identified LinkedIn as a platform that provides immense opportunities for job search.