Dr. Bukola Saraki, Nigerian Senate President, has advised the Nigerian youths to be entrepreneurs by using their phones for self-employment and to create job opportunities for others.

He gave the advice while delivering the Fourth Convocation Lecture of Adeleke University in Ede, Osun state. Delivering a paper titled, “National Economic Development Through Entrepreneurship: The Role of Private Universities in Nigeria,” Saraki said it has become imperative for youths not to see their phones as fashion accessories alone, but potent platforms to launch themselves into entrepreneurship and gainful self-employment.

“I will say that it is perhaps true that Nigerian youths are not currently maximizing the potential that social media has for stimulating entrepreneurship in many areas, including those that were unheard of just a few years ago.

“I would like to see younger Nigerians put what they learned in the university to impactful use by leveraging on the social media’s abundant opportunity for business ventures. Entrepreneurship starts with a mindset; form networks, begin to see your phone as a business tool and not just a fashion accessory; get tutorials for starting new businesses or to ginger new business ideas.

“There is no reason why any of today’s graduating students cannot become a Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, net worth $5 billion – or Brian Chesky, a co-founder of Air BnB. Michelle Phan of the cosmetic business Ipsy is now worth $300 million – not bad for someone who first started by uploading her videos on YouTube.”

He stated that due to its belief that entrepreneurship is crucial to the success of the economy; the National Assembly has since prioritized the passage of landmark economic laws to enable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to grow.

The senate president urged private universities to rise to the challenge of promoting private enterprises by ensuring that entrepreneurial skills are taught across various disciplines.

“The education ethos ought to move away from the over-emphasis on theory-based approach and paper certification towards inculcating practical skills that support apprenticeship and boost innovation and industry.”

“This is the place of Vocational and Technical Education which provides that the youth imbibe practical skills that will not only make them employable but will also helps the country to build an army of job providers.”

“Endeavour always to be a credit to yourselves, to your families, your communities, and your country. The motto of this university is ‘Education, Excellence and Character’ – I encourage you to be exemplars of this motto. Be lifelong students, live the knowledge culture; an individual that never ceases to learn, never ceases to grow.”