Entrepreneurship: Govt Trying But Not Doing Enough – Stakeholders | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Entrepreneurship: Govt Trying But Not Doing Enough – Stakeholders

Hajia-Aisha-Abubakar, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment
Posted: May 12, 2016 at 1:29 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Nkasiobi Oluikpe


Lagos – The importance and invaluable contributions of the entrepreneur to the economic growth of the country cannot be overemphasised.  They offer safety net for the survival of the poor, and their activities improve the quality of life of the unemployed youth and women.

In developed climes, the entrepreneur serves as a channel through which the poor raises their income. Through the acquisition of various skills they have succeeded in raising the bar for indigenous private sector development.

Describing the various roles that the entrepreneur plays in the economic development and growth of a nation, Iwu Eze, an economic analyst has defined him as a contractor, an organiser of an enterprise for the public, a resourceful person with a dream.

Continuing, Eze said: “Entrepreneurs are bold men and women who have initiative and the ability to lead, manage and take consequences. They are men of action, risk takers, missioners; they are creative and highly respected for their ability and efficiently which are combined to achieve the goals.

“He is an individual who has the ability to see and evaluate business opportunities, gather the necessary resources to take advantage of them and initiate appropriate actions to ensure success, he is a risk taker.”

However, he recognised that even in the face of all these qualities, the entrepreneur does not operate in isolation. Irrespective of his business acumen, Iwu noted that there are vast other roles which he cannot, of his own, perform.

This, he said, is where the government comes in. Both parties work together to achieve the needed economic growth, he noted.

“Economic growth rates are often attributed to the role of the duo of government and entrepreneurs which is complementary and not mutually exclusive. In Nigeria, like some other economies, government helps to develop transportation, power, financial inducement, subsidies and other utilities to encourage entrepreneurship development. Furthermore the government provides security to safe guard life and property; maintaining law and order and freedom to do business”, he said

It would be recalled that the Nigerian government has initiated various forms of programmes to boost entrepreneurship development in the country. This initiatives range from support and encouragement of new ideas, providing technological supports, encouraging inter-firm linkages, provision of intervention funds for both start ups and sustenance of old business, prompt registration/advisory services, promotion of entrepreneurial skills, introduction of entrepreneurship studies in the higher institutions, and lots more.

However, despite all the programmes listed above, there are complaints that the situation of the entrepreneur appears not to have been much impacted by the programmes above.

At the core of the complaints are issues surrounding funds and provision of infrastructural facilities.

Access to the various intervention funds which are said to be lying fallow with the providers, has been identified as one of the major impediments/setback to entrepreneurial development in Nigeria.

Like Mrs. Elojo Peter and several others have lamented the conditionalities attached to accessing those funds make it difficult for the average entrepreneur to get them. It will only take a strong willed and ruggedly determined entrepreneur, to muster the courage to go for those funds.

According to Eze, “Financial limitations constitute a serious setback to the entrepreneurship, inability of the entrepreneur to be able to provide tangible collateral securities for loans make him a misfit in the competitive struggle for limited funds in the snappy economy.”

Situations abound where entrepreneurs still apply the crude method for the operation of his business, not because he or she doesn’t want to adopt the modern methodology, but the unavailability  of funds to acquire the needed machinery to upgrade their operations, makes their operation remain in the crude form.

This, not only hinders the quality of their operation and products, but also affects the quantity and their turn over and their chances to expand.

The absence of basic infrastructures such as regular electricity supply and provision of good roads have also been identified as some of the various other setbacks to the survival of the entrepreneur.

While governments are making efforts at curbing rural-urban migration, the state of infrastructures at the urban areas, make it near impossible for any entrepreneur to operate in any rural area. There are no access roads to transport their products, no pipe borne water, and no power supply; there are basic needs of a fledgling entrepreneur.

The result is a mass exodus of youth leaving the hinterlands to the metropolis for jobs that do not exist there.

As a result of the above, some concerned individuals have advised that it is not enough to set up programmes or provide intervention funds. Government they say should at the same time set up monitoring teams to assess the impact of these programmes on the people for whom they were meant.