By Sam Esogwa
The international entrepreneurs business summit held in Port Harcourt from Tuesday, October 29 to Thursday, October 31, 2019, was meant to provide a platform for Nigerians, especially people of the South-South zone, to be equipped with the information, ideas and linkages that will enable them to operate as entrepreneurs.
By becoming entrepreneurs and employers of labour, these Nigerians will automatically reduce the rate of unemployment in the South-South in particular and the country at large.
The organizer of the business summit, tagged OGACONN International Entrepreneurs Business Summit, Larry-Goodwill Akintoba Ajiola, said this during his speech at the event.
He said: “The vision is to make sure I reduce unemployment in the country and make everybody in Nigeria become an entrepreneur just as it is in Finland, United Kingdom and other European countries. If 75% of the budget can be implemented, Nigeria will change. Our leaders should help the masses.”
He said it is this vision to reduce unemployment that propels him to do the things he is doing, including business promotion, sourcing of funds and good connections for businesses, warning that until every Nigerian embraces entrepreneurship, poverty, hardship and backwardness will not be easily eradicated.
Ajiola, who said that he would take 25 companies in Nigeria to Finland to access grants after the business summit, added that integrity, courage and perseverance are values necessary for any entrepreneur to succeed.
In his presentation, author of the book, Science and Arts of Living, Sunes Godwin, said that struggle is part of entrepreneurship as no worthwhile dream is birthed without a struggle.
“In the 21st century, entrepreneurship is beyond goods and direct sales. As an entrepreneur, you need to have a risk-taking mindset. As an entrepreneur, study your environment and look for solutions to problems,” he said, adding: “If you embrace your challenges, you will grow but if you resent your challenges, you will growl.”
In his own presentation, Comrade Atuma said there is need for everybody to develop an entrepreneural spirit, arguing that without entrepreneurship, there will not be development.
“We’re living in a time of unlimited opportunities. Without entrepreneurship, nothing happens. If you succeed as an entrepreneur, you will succeed with the people,” Atuma said.
He called on all the youths of Rivers State, Niger Delta and Nigeria, to look inwards and find out the problems they can solve in their various communities, noting that by doing so, they will gradually become self-reliant and begin to create jobs for themselves and other unemployed youths, which he said is what entrepreneurship is all about.
Mrs Ukomadu Ogechi, Director (Admin), Ministry of Power, Rivers State, who participated in the business summit as a delegate from her ministry, described the event as fulfilling.
In a chat with media men shortly after the event, she said: “It’s a wonderful programme. Government can’t employ everybody, so activities like this help people to know how to employ themselves as a support, especially when they retire. Civil servants should do something to get extra income,” she said.