Muslim youths tasked on entrepreneurship, digital marketing

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A non-governmental organization, Forum for Empowerments of Muslim Students (FEMS), has embarked on programmes and activities geared towards empowering the youths across the country with a view to build visionary leaders that will foster Nigeria’s march towards sustainable development.

Speaking at a public lecture, themed, E-commerce: A tool for sustainable development, the Ameer (President) of the forum, Gbajumo Kehinde Monsur, said the capacity building programme is designed to reduce the growing rate of unemployment in Nigeria.

He said: “Nigeria with a population estimated at 193 million, the youth is 54.9 per cent of the population and 12.1 per cent are unemployed according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS),” stressing that unemployment among the youths is one of Nigeria’s biggest problems, while canvassing an urgent need to address it.

“The rate of unemployment in Nigeria increases yearly by about two per cent. Over 2 million graduates join labour market yearly only less than 8% secure jobs,” he said.

The programme is a yearly gathering of secondary school students, undergraduates, graduates, entrepreneurs and job seekers interfacing with representatives of corporate organisations, government agencies, small and medium scale firms in order to harness investment and business opportunities.

As the chairman of the occasion, Mr. Adetoyese Tijani Olusi, who is also Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government, urged participants to be an entrepreneur instead of becoming a job seeker.

“The truth is that, if as a country, you are not a producer, you cannot be among the developing economy, you will always be underdeveloped because you are always consuming goods and services of other climes without meaningful efforts to be production/manufacturing inclined.

“If you want to talk about a developing economy you cannot do without commerce because commerce is the basis of everything in the world. In the global world, you must do business with another country before you can survive and that is a major challenge in Nigeria.”

Represented by his Special Adviser, Protocols, Mr. Ajenifuja Raheem Owolabi, Olusi advised the youths to be creative so as to become employers of labour rather than be job seekers. “The reality now is that your certificate is not a guarantee to secure employment. There are lots of graduates out there seeking for employment with all the degrees in the world. You are lucky as Muslims because you have the idea of empowering yourselves and be creative before you get to the labour market.”

He urged FEMS to embark a variety of empowerment programmes, especially vocational training for members, where people can be empowered with training on vocational courses like bead making, decoration, small chops and pastries among others.

The lead speaker, Alhaji Abdulkabir Alabi Garuba who is Chairman, Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Lagos State chapter underscored the importance Islam attached to commerce and trade, citing several quotations from the holy Quran that encourage Muslims to engage in lawful and wild range of commercial activities.

He listed three key elements associated with sustainable development to include economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.Alhaji Garuba said with the transformation happening in the global world in the last three decades, the Internet has brought a lot of opportunities in all spheres of life.

“Economically, socially and culturally, the Internet continues to greatly impact on nations, communities, institutions and individuals. The good thing about the Internet is that there is a change from mass communication to individual communication. You can interface with your customer even if you don’t have the means of using the traditional mass media. *

“Internet has made business transaction easier as you can market your product globally by creating personal blog, WhatsApp, Facebook to be able to interact regularly with your consumers from any part of the world,” he said.

E-commerce as a process of selling or purchasing of goods or services through computer networks by methods specifically designed for the purpose of receiving or placing of orders began officially in Nigeria in 2012 attracting major players such as Jumia, Konga, OLX, Dealdey, Wakanorr, Yudala, Uber, Taxify, Gloo.ng among others.

Its major contribution to economy is in the area of job creation, which National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put at 20 million youths. In 2012, it created 12,000 jobs directly.

The challenges of e-commerce in Nigeria, according to Alhaji Garuba, include poor logistics channels, lack of trust, poor/lack of Internet access, low broadband penetration, poor road network system, poor house numbering system and the menace of cybercrimes.



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