Vanguard Newspaper 07 April 2018
Our youths are not t developed eloped to meet t global employment demand—OGUNMOLA Eyitayo Ogunmola is the Country Director, Utiva, a social entrepreneur, project manager with special interest in projects developments. He had worked in the United States, South Africa and had supported more than 20 projects across 4 countries, also implemented government institutional strengthening programmes, international development frameworks, TVET and tech projects. In this interview with Nosike Moses, he said how Utiva is connected to youth community, helping young people in our tertiary institutions to transit from school to jobs. Excepts: What is the mission of Utiva in Nigerian economic environment? Honestly, this is an exciting time to work in Nigeria and also a good time to be part of the social impact investing community. If you are not part of the change, you may need to be changed. We are connected to the youth community, and our work is to help young people in our tertiary institutions transition from school to jobs. If you think about the number of students in Nigerian tertiary institutions today and the rate of graduation, you’d understand why we do what we do. If you look at the numbers, you’d be amazed. The first problem we are solving is the disconnect between the tertiary institutions and the job market. I was a part of a research in 2016 on the future of work in Sub-Saharan Africa, and there is a component of the research outcome that is quite amazing: 96% of Nigeria educational institutions believe they prepare students for work, yet only 9% of Nigeria business leaders say today’s college graduates are prepared for work. So, our work is quite focused on redeveloping the students for the job market. We are so connected to the job market and we also understand what the needs are. We currently have 20 leading entrepreneurs and HR managers on our practice leadership and a faculty of about 60 people who are HR managers, professionals, entrepreneurs etc. So, our core is to develop young people for jobs. We have a 1 year and 4 months learning pedagogy and approach. All focused on one thing; which is to rebuild the competence of these young people for the future of work. And our approach is to help our students acquire the top 8 skills that employers globally want to recruit for. As the Country Director of Utiva, how do you see Nigerian business climate? To be honest, this is a harsh environment. Those operating in this climate can attest to it. But to be less emotional about this, I also think the Ease of Doing Business ranking says it all. We are ranked 145th of 190 participating countries in the world. So, you know how we are ranked globally. In Sub-Saharan Africa, we are number 21 of 48. And Rwanda is second, Kenya is third and South Africa is 5th. So, to be modest, we are an emerging economy with some basic things to figure out. One of the challenges is access to talent in Nigeria. Of course, there are other factors like inconsistent policies, access to electricity and bad roads. Yet, I like to think that business is about 3 fundamentals: Product, People, and Processes. Most entrepreneurs have good products and processes, but access to good people is quite a challenge. There is human capital shortage in Nigeria. You think I am wrong? Talk to Human Resource managers. And that is what I care so much about. How do we help more young people become competent for the job market. Is education in Nigeria today truly an all round development for Nigerians? Let’s say a few things at this point. It’s also important to see education a bit differently from academics or schooling! When you go to school to study Chemistry, you are in school for the academics. But when you develop your character, leadership, morals, ability to work with others, ability to debate, think critically and analyse social situations etc, you are in education. So, education is developing your innate capacity to solve social and societal challenges. Now, the reality here is the Nigerian educational system doesn’t develop us for that space. We did a little study among 1500 students and 82% agreed that their lecturers come late to class and yet do not apologise for doing so. Campari strengthens trade relation, rewards distributors Despite some factors militating business operations in Nigeria, Campari has continued to encourage its distributors with numerous awards. Last weekend witnessed the 2018 Campari Nigeria Trade Partners Award at Raddisson Blue, Ikeja where the comedy duo of Tee-A and MC Abbey spiced the event with exhilarating comic relief. Brand ambassador for Campari, Tu Baba was joined on stage by Rude Boy of the P- Square fame during his live performance. Speaking on behalf of the host company, Brian Munro to a select gathering of customers and trade partners, the Marketing Manager, Brian Munro Limited, Nkechi Nwachukwu, said that the award is an opportunity for us to celebrate our trade partners who have been loyal with our brand and did exceptional performances despite the tough economic situation witnessed last year. “We are very delighted to celebrate their success and achievement. Over twenty-five major distributors received awards for their outstanding trade efforts and loyalty. Notably among the winners are Amadi Theresa Nnedia of Verchi Stores, Ndubisi Dennis Onyeananu of Uzems Aba and Chogozie Anagwu of Chigotex royal link limited who aside the trophies presented to them also went home with the sum of 2,821,514 NGN; 3,264,080 NGN and 7,596,446 NGN respectively. In his reaction, the star prize winner Chogozie Anagwu of Chigotex royal link L-R Rilwan Shofunde, Brand Mgr Campari, Pamela Zincke, Trade Marketing Mgr Campari West Africa, Ndubisi Dennis Onyeananu of Uzems Aba(winner), Amadi Theresa Nnedia of Verchi Stores (winner), Paul Wilson, MD Brian Munro Ltd, Chogozie Anagwu of Chigotex Ltd (winner), Nkechi Nwachukwu, Marketing Mgr BML and Bola Lofindipe, National Sales Mgr BML limited said that this recognition from a worthy and reliable partner like Brian Munro makes me feel on top of the world. Over the years, they have consistently inspired and provided the remarkable support required for a stronger partnership. The Brand Manager, Campari Nigeria, Rilwan Shofunde, added that our strong belief in fostering a fortified partnership with our major distributors is a continuous journey that we are committed to. The attestation made today by major distributors today further reiterates the respect and value for a worthwhile relationship with our esteemed trade partners. Campari is a smoothly blended liqueur exclusively distributed by Brian Munro Limited in Nigeria. SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 7, 2018—41 So what do we have here? We have students graduating from schools where their tutors and role models get late to classes and meetings, and yet take no responsibility. You now know where our lack of character and attitude come from. This is just a little component of those problems. There must be an intervention. And that is what we represent. What do you think of the unemployment rate in the country today? Yes, unemployment rate in Nigeria is quite high. Depending on the figure and the source you are quoting from, though. Most of the figures out there are scary. Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) pegs the unemployment rate at 14.2%( 2016 last quarter). The rate increased to 18.80 percent in the third quarter of 2017 from 16.20 in the previous quarter. So, we are currently playing around 18.80%. The numbers keep rising! It’s like yeast. I like to think about this in some basic way. Do we have challenges in Nigeria that businesses need to solve? Yes. Do we have business opportunities here in Nigeria? Yes. How many Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises do we have in Nigeria? According to the Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), we have about 33 million MSMEs in this country. The next question is how many young people are skilled and competent to help these businesses grow? How many small companies out there can boast of employing a young graduate with top skills to support their growth? What values does a graduate of Botany bring to the job market? We need to retrain! Do you think the average Nigerian graduate is employable? No! The answer is quite easy to jump at. Majority of young graduates in Nigeria are not employable. It’s that simple! It’s either we accept it or not. I work with students in schools and I see the gap. They are not developed for the job market. And I often debate that the reason we have the universities and polytechnics is because of the job market. Final!!! These institutions are built to help people get a life after school. It’s either you want to get a life as an employee of a value driven enterprise, or you want to create one. Unfortunately, we are training people who will fear the lecturers, memorize old text books and follow music stars on instagram. We need to get it right before 2025 otherwise we will be less competitive as a nation. We were a part of a research that engaged about 5000 employers in 2016 and we discovered that employers of labor want to recruit for 8 major skills. So, our reality is that regardless of what you study in school, you must have these skills as values you are bringing to the company. What solutions would you proffer to the issue above? Whatever solution we are proposing, it must be holistic and multi-faceted. So, I will mention a few here. First, we need to reconstruct the institutions so that it has a big connect and relationship to the job market. Again, I must re-emphasise the need for the universities to communicate with the job market to understand what they want. That is one thing we have been able to figure out. Our practice leads are leading entrepreneurs and professionals in the job market. We always try to understand what they want. Second, we need to reconstruct our learning approaches and curriculum to speak to what is valuable. It’s no use teaching someone what is never going to be valuable! We need to identify the gap and train to fill those. Travelstart marks six years of operating in Nigeria T ravelstart, Africa’s leading online travel agency, marks its six years of doing business in Nigeria. The Nigerian operations which started in 2012, quickly surpassed its other established markets in Namibia and Kenya, highlighting the huge demand for a tech-based solution for travelers in Nigeria. Since launched, Travelstart has catered more than half a million Nigerians and significantly grown its extensive affiliate network. Country Manager, Travelstart Nigeria, Philip Åkesson says the company is committed to making travel easier and more affordable for Travelers across the continent. According to him, “We’re strongly focused on meeting our customers’ needs within the aspects of price, payment choices, trust and customer service.” Travelstart maintains a consistent focus on simplifying ticket purchasing process and offering customers the chance to book their flights online. “In Nigeria, the company additionally offers a walk-in service which allows customers build a human connection with the company. We recognise the importance of omnichannels and that is why we offer our customers platform flexibility depending on their comfort with technology. Our walk-in customer service further improves the trust for the brand as our agents work with customers to make their booking,” Åkesson said. According to an economic impact assessment of travel and tourism by the World Travel & Tourism Council, the total contribution of the travel and tourism industry to Nigeria’s GDP was ¦ 5,124.3bn (4.7% of GDP) in 2016 and is forecasted to rise by 4.0% pa to ¦ 7,507.7bn. The travel industry’s total contribution to employment in Nigeria, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, was 4.5%. This is expected to rise 3.6% per annum to 2,598,000 jobs (4.2% of total) in 2027. Dana Air Boss bags excellent leadership, best CEO of the year Awards THE Managing Director/Chief Executive officer of Dana Air, Jacky Hathiramani, has been conferred with the Platinum Excellence Leadership Award by the Association of Northern Nigerian Students (ANNS), in Lagos. The Meritorious Leadership Award is coming less than a week after the Dana Air boss won his 3rd Best CEO of the year award, at a colourful event organised by industry watchdog, Nigerian Aviation Awards (NIGAV). The award, according to the association, is in recognition of Hathiramani’s exceptional track record of “performance, exemplary leadership style, creative contribution to the development of the Aviation industry, promotion of youth welfare and avowed nationalistic humanitarian service and Corporate Social Responsibility of his conglomerate.” In his response, Hathiramani thanked the association for the honour bestowed on him and reiterated his commitment to working with relevant agencies and stakeholders on programmes that will improve the Aviation industry and that of the travelling public. He also pledged to continue to promote the welfare of the youth. Jacky has won two CEO of the year awards in the Nigerian Aviation industry and one at the Ghana Aviation awards 2016, where he won same award for ‘’bringing to Nigerians and Ghanaians, an aviation service that combines the best elements of legacy carriers – worldclass onboard service, superior on-time performance coupled with the latest technology (online services) and operational efficiency of new age carriers, which has seen Dana Air become one of Nigeria’s leading airlines,’’ said the Ghana Aviation Award committee.
40—SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 7, 2018 BY PETER DURU, MAKURDI Following the announcement of the Federal government to undertake the rehabilitation of communities destroyed by herdsmen in the country, the President of the Tiv Youths Organization, TYO, Comrade Timothy Hembaor has urged President Muhamnadu Buhari to give directive to the military to flush out herdsmen from Benue communities to allow the displaced persons return to their homes before embarking on the project. Speaking to Saturday Vanguard, Comrade Hembaor said, “the most important issue has to be addressed before the talk of rehabilitation. The herdsmen are still occupying some of our lands. They are still there. That’s why our people are still in IDPs camps. If President Buhari directs the military to get them out it will be done in a jiffy. We don’t know why this has not been done. “The most important thing here is that we have a validly made law prohibiting open grazing in Benue state. It is left for the President to direct that the law should be fully enforced by law enforcement agencies so that there can be peace in Benue. “If there is no peace, you can build mansions but they would eventually be destroyed by herdsmen. So let the President solve our problems before rebuilding our communities. What we need is ranching, if you want to do livestock business in Benue, obey our ranching law. What Benue leaders want Buhari to do now! •Comrade “If the President Buhari led government is sincere with what they are saying, they should give a strict instruction to security agencies to enforce our grazing law. “When that is done, we can now sit back as comfortable people and start talking of how our destroyed communities can be rehabilitated and rebuilt so that these recurrent killings and destruction of our communities can stop for good.” On his part, the Leader of Global Amnesty Watch Network, Terrence Kuanum, reechoed the position of the TYO President. He insisted that the road to peace in Benue was a strict enforcement of the Open Grazing Prohibition Law and every other thing would fall into place. “The Federal government can only embark on the rehabilitation of our communities after peace has been restored in the communities and to achieve that peace, the grazing law has to be enforced fully by law enforcement agencies. “All we urgently need now is a directive from the President ordering the military to push out herdsmen from Benue communities which they have occupied since January. “If that is done, and everyone align themselves to the law, there will be peace and after that rehabilitation can follow. “If they fail to do that, but prefer to rehabilitate the destroyed communities, it therefore means that the communities would be rehabilitated for herdsmen who are the current illegal occupants of Benue communities.” Speaking on the issue, the Chairman of Tribal Leaders in the state, Chief Edward Ujege, who lauded the decision of the Timothy Hembaor •Chief Edward Ujege •Comrade Terrence Kuanum federal government to rehabilitate the destroyed communities appealed to the government to do the needful before embarking on the rehabilitation. “The federal government must support the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of Benue State which was derived from the people before embarking on any form of rehabilitation. “The federal government should openly declare support for the law and ensure its enforcement by security agencies. It is after that is done that the communities can be rehabilitated. “For now we all know that close to 180,000 persons are displaced in Benue because their villages have been taken over by herdsmen, so if they are not dislodged for the people to return to their ancestral homes, who will the federal government rehabilitate the communities for? “Our position on this matter is clear, support our grazing law, give a presidential directive to the military and security agencies to dislodge the herdsmen from occupied Benue communities and then embark on the rehabilitation and our people will support the government and its initiative.” Ekiti 2018: What does Fayemi want? After months of dithering procrastination erstwhile governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi last Saturday entered the Ekiti 2018 governorship battle. Against the background of the sound defeat of four years ago, the question on many lips is ‘what magic wand has he found to charm the people of Ekiti?’ By Rotimi Ojomoyela What was first seen as a straight fight between the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC is increasingly being clouded by the increasing strength of the Social Democratic Party, SDP in the emerging contest. The SDP has become a home to the aggrieved elements especially in the PDP who are not comfortable with what they describe as the “one-man show and rule of impunity” in the ruling party in the state. The exit from the PDP increased after the outgoing governor of the state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose pitched his tent with his deputy, Prof Kolapo Olusola in the forthcoming governorship primaries. The scenario in the APC even if it has not led to defections is, however, not the least less chaotic. At least 30 aspirants are believed to have indicated interest in the governorship ticket of the party. The chaos took a higher decibel last week after the immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi indicated interest in picking the ticket of the party. Prominent aspirants in APC Among the aspirants, Fayemi is expected to contest the ticket with are the former deputy national chairman of the party and former governor of the state, Engr. Segun Oni, former member of the House of Representatives and onetime Commissioner for information and strategy in Lagos State, Opeyemi Bamidele, Special Adviser to President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu. Two other members of the House of Representatives, Bimbo Daramola and Bamidele Faparusi, former Senators Ayo Arise, Gbenga Aluko, an Australian based Medical Practitioner, Dr. Wole Oluyede, the former United States based nurse, pharmacist and medical doctor, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade. Aside from Fayemi, every other person here had at one time, or the other made public their intention. Before now, the words on everybody’s lips were on when Fayemi will declare his interest. The suspense was against the background of •Kayode Fayemi insinuations on the propriety of the former governor who lost the last election to Fayose coming out to seek another term. Last Saturday, the former governor formally put the suspense to an end with his declaration that he would seek the party’s ticket. Kayode Fayemi, his chances Fayose has till date not let it lost on anyone how he routed Fayemi in the June 21, 2104 governorship election, when he defeated him in all 16 Local Government Areas of the state. Even though Fayose’s electoral feat went through the whole gamut of judicial scrutiny, up to the Supreme Court, which finally settled the matter, Fayemi and his supporters and members of his party refused to believe that Fayose victory was not aided by Federal might. Fayemi’s decision to be an aspirant came after he reactivated his political machinery, set up a foundation to keep his foot soldiers on the field, and provided federal appointments to some of his supporters putting him in the ascendancy. His grip on the state structure of the party has also made him the person to beat in any internal party primary. The Jide Awe led State Working Committee of the party was installed by Fayemi while he was governor of the state and they are still very much in charge of the party affairs from the state secretariat of the party to the local government areas and in all 177 wards in the state. Also, majority of the members of his cabinet during his days as the governor of the state are expected to queue behind him. It is believed that Fayemi may have won the assurance of the presidency to enter the contest. His strength in Abuja was boosted after he fronted the interests of the presidency in pushing the aspiration of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the APC primaries in Ondo State. However, against the background of the ban placed on him by the Fayose constituted panel and the issues raised against him by the civil servants, Fayemi has a cross to bear as he seeks a gubernatorial encore. C M YK