Speaking in Abuja at the 2016 Catholic Singles Conference, the co-founder of Pan Atlantic University and Professor of Political Economy, Pat Utomi, said Nigerian youths could be financially independent.
But he stressed the need for the Federal Government to create the right atmosphere for young entrepreneurs to thrive.
He said: “We don’t have appropriate policies and the right institutions to support small enterprises and provide financial support, not in the way of people coming to get their own share of the national cake like we have had in the past.
“Where commercially minded people are managing funds which the government and everybody else can support, they can get people who have the requisite skills to invest in enterprises,” Professor Utomi stressed.
He advised youths to look beyond seeking paid employment at all times by exploring opportunities that would turn them into successful entrepreneurs.
“Young people should see themselves much more as creators of wealth rather than people who get hired.
“If they see themselves that way, networks that are developing can provide them the opportunities to look for how they can be wealth creators.
“They should persevere. If you get hit once and you fall and roll over, you are not an entrepreneur.
“There is a Japanese saying that says that an entrepreneur is a man who falls seven times and gets up eight times. Many of us when we fall we roll over and play dead,” he emphasised.
This advice is coming at a time that many Nigerian graduates are without job and a period the nation is facing grave economic hardship.
Nigeria’s economic recession was officially proclaimed in a report of the National Bureau of Statistics that showed a contract of 2.06% in the Gross Domestic Product of the oil-rich nation in the second quarter of 2016.
The report showed that the decline had made the Naira weaker while lower oil prices dragged the oil sector down.
The output shrunk by 0.36 in the first quarter.
During the quarter, nominal GDP was 2.73% higher at 23.48 million Naira at basic prices.
This growth was lower than the rate recorded in the second quarter of 2015 by 2.44% points.
The government is more than ever before pushing for economic diversification, paying more attention to agriculture that had been the nation’s economic mainstay before the discovery of crude oil, to reflate the economy.
Critics have advised the government to act fast and change the tide to save the nation from unforeseen circumstances, considering the number of youths that are unemployed.