Don urges President to emulate U.S. economic recovery plan



A NIGERIAN in the Diaspora, Prof. Godwin Chukwu, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to avoid repeating the mistakes of past Nigerian leaders in the effort to revive the nation’s economy but should borrow a leaf from the United States’ economic recovery plan.

Chukwu, who is currently in the country to promote youths empowerment and skills acquisition through entrepreneurship, said past models aimed at positioning Nigeria as an emerging economy failed because government at various levels paid more attention to academic qualifications rather than entrepreneurship skills.

He noted that the American model of restructuring paid off because the U.S. government aggressively funded youths’ skill empowerment and entrepreneurial qualification, as opposed to mere academic or paper qualification.

He added that this was the strategy the current government used in rapidly pulling the U.S. economy from the brink of recession. Speaking in Abuja at the presentation of certificate of participation to 21 colleges of science and technology students drawn from across the Federal Capital Territory, Chukwu, who is CEO of Toncia Energy, noted that Nigeria needed to toe the line of countries like China, Malaysia and Japan who were once like Nigeria but developed rapidly after identifying with and focused on skills acquisition and entrepreneurship.

According to the emeritus professor, the federal and state governments need to develop a four-year plan to train youths on yearly basis in specialised skills that can contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) profile of the country.

Such a scheme, he said, would have produced an array of technologists who will contribute to revamping the nation’s economic fortunes, especially in the face of dwindling oil demand in the international market. “What the President needs to do is to pay attention to technology and entrepreneurship.

This country has a large amount of youths who can be trained in specific skills necessary for rapid development of our country. The problem with Nigeria is that people tend to lay more emphasis on paper qualification than hands-on skills.

In the U.S where I’ve lived for over two decades, it’s all about what you can do. Not what your qualification says. So, if government, especially state governments under partnership can begin to train youths in skills acquisition, you will find out that in no time, the missing link between the teeming unemployed youths, which is right skills, and available jobs, will be a thing of the past. This is my candid advice to the President,” he said.

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