The Bank of Industry (BOI), on Wednesday in Lagos, urged the banking sector to endeavour to play its part in supporting entrepreneurship in a sustainable way in the country.
Mr Olukayo Pitan, Chief Executive Officer of BOI, made the call at the Entrepreneurial Development Programme and Public Presentation of Practice License, organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
The programme, which was the 8th edition, had as its theme: Entrepreneurship for Inclusive Growth: Opportunities and Sustainability Strategies.
“At Bank of Industry, we believe that there can be no inclusive growth and sustainable development in Nigeria, if we do not deliberately and proactively ensure that existing challenges that hold back a majority of our population from reaching their full potential are addressed.
“Thus, social and economic progress cannot be achieved without economically empowering the population, especially women and youth.
“Given that a majority of us present here are from the banking sector, and therefore, hold a majority of the investment decision-making powers of this nation, I want to use this forum to humbly ask that we all do our respective parts toward supporting entrepreneurship in a sustainable manner,” he said.
Pitan was represented by the Group Head of Strategy, BOI, Mr Yinka Adeboye.
The Chairman, Board of Directors, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Mr Femi Pedro, urged entrepreneurs to develop passion for whatever it was they wanted to go into.
“There is a lot of difference between entrepreneur and a successful entrepreneur.
“According to National Bureau of Statistics and SMEDAN, there are 41 million Nigerian entrepreneurs in Nigeria and only two per cent are running a successful business.
“The reason is very simple, a lot of people run into entrepreneurial because they are forced into it. They don’t have a job, so they must do it.
” When you do something you don’t have passion for and knowledge of, you will not succeed.
“So, whatever entrepreneurship project that you are going to undertake, my first advice is that you develop passion for that business and love it; that is the only way you can succeed,” he said.
Earlier, the President of CIBN, Mr Uche Olowu, said entrepreneurship was important in achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth in the country.
“The rate of unemployment in Nigeria is on the increase; according to NBS, unemployment rose to 23.1 per cent in first quarter of the year, to 22.7 per cent in second quarter.
“As if this situation is not scary enough, it is projected that the unemployment rate in this country will reach 33.5 per cent in year 2020.
“It is, therefore, evident that entrepreneurship is important in our quest to achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth and it’s the key driver for job creation,” he said.