In a bid to expose young business owners to better skills of managing businesses, the Ekiti State Government and a United States of America-based non- governmental organisation, Interweave Solution, have partnered to promote Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Financial Literacy Programme in the state.
The Ekiti State Government said that the programme will help in exposing people to ease of doing businesses to reduce poverty through job and wealth creation among the unemployed graduates and traders.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Friday during the flag off of the Ekiti State Nano, Medium and Small (NMSME) Financial Literacy Programme(EK-NFLP) done in partnership with a renowned US based NGO, Governor Biodun Oyebanji reiterated that his government is incurably committed to combat poverty and rescue the youth from joblessness.
Oyebanji, represented by her Deputy, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, said his government has pursued industrial development as a pillar of this administration with vigour, describing the concept as part of the ingenious ways of expanding the scope of industrial development among young graduates.
Oyebanji stated that government at all levels must begin aggressive promotion of NMSME under the current economic realities, so that young school leavers can be economically independent, rather than scouting for white collar jobs.
“One of the aims of this administration is to vigorously reduce poverty level to the barest minimum. The government has also shown a consistent commitment to the grown of MSMEs and developing the youths by way of provision and maintenance of necessary infrastructure, training and empowerment for young graduates for creativity and innovations.
“I believe this training will no doubt develop young graduate industrialists with new innovations and improve their management skills on proper financial literacy for optimal trade profitability.
“The current emphasis of this administration in its industrialization efforts through enterprise development is majorly on the promotion of MSMEs. This strategy, which is being adopted in tandem with pillar four of my administration.
“Apart from a humble and logical beginning for big enterprises, the Micro/Small businesses constitute the springboard and training ground for all sectors Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, which is the essence of this programme.
“My administration will leave no stone unturned as we seek to eradicate poverty in all sectors of our economy and increase prosperity across the nooks and cranny of our state”.
Also addressing the graduate entrepreneurs, the Commissioner for Investment, Trade and Industry, Mrs Tayo Adeola, said the programme would be extended to develop the market women and whoever involves in trade and commerce in the state.
She said the programme was chiefly conceptualised following government’s consistent engagements with traders in the state, where it was realised that many lacked the requisite knowledge to run successful businesses under the current 21st century economy.
“Through our engagements, we realised some of them didn’t have the knowledge to know their net from their gross profits. They require to be exposed to ways of doing businesses so that they can thrive. We need to imbue them with skills that will make them overcome their challenges, because we can’t continue doing things the old ways.
“Financial Literacy in the advanced countries have been injected into the curricula right from primary school, I mean from age seven they will be learning how to do businesses. That was why they have the skills and knowledge of doing businesses and entrepreneurial activities more than those of us in the developing countries. This is what we are trying to encourage here”.
Adeola charged the participants to ensure they pay back any loan sought from the banks to set up their businesses, saying the high level of non-performing loans was responsible for why financial institutions are unwilling to give capital to intending and business owners.
Speaking further, Adeola said: “This training programme is aimed at equipping the first batch of beneficiaries drawn from the pool of unemployed graduates with financial literacy and life skills to obtain Diploma and Masters of Business in the street in the first phase.
“Those who acquired this diploma will be attached to cooperatives to train the people on how to be successful entrepreneurs by exposing training them how to know when they are operating at loss or gain”.
Dignitaries at the occasion are: Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Habibat Adubiaro, the Head of Service, Mr Sunday Akomolafe, Commissioner for Environment, Mrs Tosin Ajisafe Aluko, Commissioner for Agriculture Ebenezer Boluwade, other members of the State Executive Council, among others.