Mr Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), on Friday tasked young Nigerians to engage in constructive engagement that would enable them to plan strategically for economic survival in the country.
Wabote made the remarks during a one day summit for 2021 Niger Delta Micro Small and Medium Enterprises with the theme ‘Stimulating MSME’s Growth Beyond Oil’ in Port Harcourt.
He urged young Nigerians to prepare themselves to be competitive in the emerging world economic order beyond oil-and-gas.
Wabote stated that the theme of the summit was very apt and timely, in view of the fact that energy transmission has become an immediate reality, and must ensure that the Niger Delta region is not left behind from the shift away from the fossil fuel and renewable energy.
Furthermore, He stressed that the whole world was walking away from crude oil and urged Nigerian to embrace change in energy and other discovered resources to grow the economy.
Wabote commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for its continuing advance on policies and programmes to diversify the economy and prepare Nigeria for the eventuality.
“Some of the policies like closing of land borders from smuggling of goods and encouraging patronage of local products to grow entrepreneurs among others is in line with the policy thrust.
“Government’s support in reforming our servicing away from oil has helped Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’S) to contribute a very significant role in various sub sectors of the economy that constituted non oil sector.
“MSME’S own 96 per cent of businesses and generate 84 per cent of employment in Nigeria and remains the back bone of the country’s economy despite the challenging times it’s facing,” Wabote said.
Also, Mrs Natasha Akoti,one of the Key note Speaker who spoke on “The Healthy Diversification of the Niger Delta Economy away from it’s Reliance on Oil” said that Niger Delta region with over 30 million people has sustainable percentage of poverty which needs to be curbed.
Akoti who is also a Chief Executive Officer of Legend Art Group said that Niger Delta as one of the region that supplies revenue to the entire nation is in a deplorable condition, and should be robustly supported especially the SME’s to scale in the respective enterprises.
“It’s quite fortunate that the Federal Government has put in a lot of mechanisms to mitigate the challenges such as access to finance, access to markets and also providing a safe haven for SME’s to be monitored,”she said.
Akoti called on stakeholders involved in sharing healthy framework in supporting the enterprise to come together and provide solutions to all the financing, electricity, market strategies that the SME’S need.
She also called on government, all stakeholders, banking sector and all well to do private sectors to come together provide funds to help build the capacity of SME’S in Nigeria to curb unemployment and insecurity in the country.
In his speech, Mr Suleman Yusuf, a CEO and Social Entrepreneur called on the governments of Niger Delta states to give entrepreneurs easy access to doing business and support young entrepreneurs with adequate funds.