Associate Professor at Carleton University, Canada, Tony Bailtti has disclosed that the country lacks the needed infrastructure for entrepreneurs to flourish. Although Bailtti admitted that talents exist in Nigeria, he, however, expressed regrets that the necessary facilities to build capacity for entrepreneurs to flourish are lacking.
He said, “Entrepreneurship is the engine of any economy that is developing. Obviously we have government, large forums and others, but in terms of job and wealth creation, every economy would tell you that the heart of that economy is small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), not the government.
“The talents here in Nigeria are very diverse, I came expecting that a lot of people would do oil or mining, but not the case, we have people in technology, farming and others. Not only do talents exist here, but also the impeccable diversities of opportunities. However, I discovered there are no infrastructures to support them, which makes it impossible to build capacity within the country for entrepreneurs to flourish, not only in Nigeria but also in the world.”
Bailtti spoke at the University Of Lagos (UNILAG) transnational ventures acceleration programme (TVAP), aimed at developing SMEs in the area of entrepreneurship in order to become competitive in the global market. The vice chancellor, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe explained that the idea is to create solution providers and entrepreneurs who would develop people instead of job hunting.
“TVAP is about developing people in the area of entrepreneurship, to let them know that whatever you’re developing here is such that can compete with other products or ideas in other part of the world, which is why we brought in Prof Bailtti after the just concluded Nigeria-Canada business summit to pitch TVAP in the institution.”
Deputy vice chancellor (development), Prof Folashade Ogunsola said the school has three mandates- research, training and service.
Ogunsola said, “We have a high rate of youth unemployment in Nigeria hence the need to increase our global visibility.
We are improving the lot of the Nigerian youth and positioning them to be job creators, not job seekers, and also to improve our knowledge as a faculty because academia is useless if you’re not cross-ferterlised, it also improves our relationship with other universities. Therefore, TVAP is basically about increasing trade and collaboration between Nigeria and Canada so as to build the capacity of those who will be trading in the future” she said.
Director, entrepreneur and skill development centre, Sunday Adebisi said, “As a university, we want to create an ecosystem that will make people independent, achieve their enterprise interest and objective. It is high time we started developing Nigerians who are equally interested in creating wealth.”