‘Nigeria needs entrepreneurship as strategic plan to increase productivity, reduce unemployment, others’
Ubong Thompson King is the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Protection Plus Services Limited (PPSL), a corporate security company. He is the President of The Kings‘men World, an African male mentoring platform which seeks to identify budding entrepreneurs and connect them with top executives, entrepreneurs and leaders on the continent for mentoring opportunities in the bid to motivate, influence and coach, with the intention to make a change in their lives. In this interview with PAULA ESEGHENE, he talks about today’s #THINKATION conference and how it will help alleviate unemployment among youths in Nigeria.
Can you tell us the background details of your organisation, highlighting your major services?
Ubong King Foundation was born out of the desire to get youth productive with their lives. Many of our youth today get out of the university with a dependant mentality, which will grow into a lazy mind and a critic of a person. The foundation was set to train and build 50 million youth to train them to become entrepreneurs who can employ 5 people per entrepreneur. That will solve the unemployment problem and in turn reduce insecurity to its barest minimum.
What is the theme of the conference and what informed the choice of the topic and speakers?
The conference is tagged #THINKATION. It is a merger of 2 words THINKING + EDUCATION. It is going to be an annual event. This year’s team is “ACTIVATE YOUR THINKING”. This theme was chosen to help those who listen to the speakers tell their stories on how they challenged life to make it happen for them and build an industry around it. It will open up secrets on how to think, what triggers to push and much more.
What are you looking forward to at this conference?
I am looking for young people from the age of 20 and above to say to themselves that they can do it and rise up to actually do it. Nothing starts until you start. I want them to be angry at their present condition and position and accept the responsibility to change for themselves and not waiting for daddy or mummy to die before they get something.
What are the key challenges experienced setting up this conference?
People want it for free. I know it will take time but we must start today to tell them the truth that there is no free lunch. Anything free as paid for by someone else. Our generous sponsors gave us a huge support.
What is the key message you would like to pass to the youth at this conference?
I would want youth to know that the future they are waiting for has already started and nobody is waiting for them. They need to take ownership and make it happen. They must understand that there is a price to pay for every Prize and until the pay the price, they are not qualified to get any Prize.
How would you ensure that the conference is not just a talkfest and how do you measure results and impacts of conferences like this?
The responsibility of success is in individualistic responsibility. I will not baby sit any adult. The foundation is open to mentoring and training sessions they can benefit from. Case studies are share and group strategic think tank meetings are held physically and virtually. Anyone who wants to succeed has to stand up and do it himself. They are over 18yrs old.
Do you think this conference will be a solution to the high unemployment rate in Nigeria right now?
It will take time but we must start now. 70% of Nigeria’s population is made up of youth under 45yrs old in a population of 180million. That means youth are 135 million. If we can get 50million youth to become entrepreneurs and employ only 5 people each. That would make 250million jobs available. Entrepreneurship is what the country needs as a strategic plan to increase economic productivity in the country and reduce unemployment and insecurity.
What do you think the government should do to tackle the high unemployment level in Nigeria through this conference?
Government should treat entrepreneurship as a subject in schools and create platforms with the citizens can learn, exercise and get exposure to the outside world.
How will this conference contribute to reduce the unemployment rate in Nigeria and what makes this conference different from other youth conference?
I am a living proof of what right information can do to a person and to a society. The more right thinking is activated, the more freedom we will see in our society and nation.
What’s your advice to the millions of Nigerian youths out there?
The solution to our conditions and position is in our mind. If we can change the way we think, we can change our future.
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