The sustainability of every successful business lies in the strength and effectiveness of any hardworking business woman. Mrs. Olufolahan Olubusola Emmanuel-Tella, former presidential aspirant , labour party, is one of those who has used her vast knowledge and skills to bring to a lot of doorsteps the opportunity of being employed.
She saw the need for youths to be gainfully employed even when they did not have the means of qualification and met that need. To a lot of people, being in a political position would mean more money in their pocket but for this woman of substance, it means a whole more. Talking to Women in business, she discloses more.
How has creating sustainable jobs been made possible?
For me,creating 12 million new real sustainable jobs has been made possible by constructing a new city in each geo-political zone. Each city must be production or manufacturing based using the pre- dominant raw materials in that zone.
Why did you decide to go into something that would create jobs for people?
I was alarmed by the unemployment level in Nigeria in 1995, so I started a non profit organization where we trained youths, the unemployed and members of the spinal cord injury of Nigeria, simple food and non food production techniques.
We also trained Fulani farmers on how to convert dry corn stalk and corn cob into decorative dry flowers instead of merely burning them after harvesting the corn. We were encouraged by some people while others asked us if we were trying to compete with National Directorate of Employment.
How would you say unemployment should be tackled?
Unemployment must be tackled with business decline which has progressively worsened over the years with many business executives having to sell their properties, with them driving their cars as unpainted taxi for survival. About 1.8 million fresh graduates, millions of unskilled youths, yearly enter into the ever-swirling labour pool.
To solve the unemployment challenge, four categories of solutions should be implemented, Job creation while in school; Job creation after school; Jobs for the unskilled and new cities creation.
Let’s talk about strategic implementations…
For a thorough, effective strategic implementation of the solutions in which the unemployed in all the 774 local governments will benefit ,the first thing the government needs to do is to know the numbers of unemployed and underemployed and their skills so they can create a data base.
The registration exercise for the unemployed and underemployed employed must be done in each local government. For effectiveness, the registration centre must be a new entity, a new structure through which the government will implement its employment and enterprise development strategies. The registration centres can be called Business Hub.
Can you give us more insight into these centres?
Business Hub should be built in all the 774 local governments. A 1-bay warehouse, demarcated into offices will suffice. Government should kick-start the building of the Business Hub and encourage corporate bodies and well-meaning Nigerians to build and donate the rest to government. Donors of such Business Hub buildings should be rewarded, recognized and publicly acknowledged by government.
Each building will have at least 8 sections, namely: Registration/Job Centre Section, Enterprise Development Section, Training Section, Talent Hunt Section ,Development Bank for Women & Youth (DBWY), Foreign Investment Marketing Section, New cities Section, Elders Centre Section.
For the registration/Jobs Centre, the biometrics and curriculum vitae of the unemployed and under-employed will be captured and registered , free of charge. Each person will be given a Registration Number and a Relationship Officer attached to him/her.
How are these units going to be broken down and in what way would they be of benefit to the people?
The different units of the business hub would be made to tailor the direct needs of those in that department. There would be no issue of mixing everybody up in the same group and not achieving anything at the end of the day. It is as a result of this that we have different groups for different people to register into.
For instance, we have the Enterprise Development Section (EDS) which would comprise of unemployed graduates with at least 5 years managerial experience will be grouped into 10’s to form and register as Management Consultancy firms. Such firms will register at EDS, organize enterprise development training and offer management consultancy and will assist to secure consultancy jobs for such firms.
We also have the training sections with the Adult School, Vocational training and the computer schools to be done in the business hub computer centre.
Is there anything being done for talents and also women and youths?
Actually, a lot is being put in place for the Talent Hunt Section. Creative inventors, innovators will be assisted in producing, packaging and testing the prototype of the invention. Successful inventors will get pilot plant in government Technology Incubation Centre and production and marketing assistance.
For the youths and women, we have what we call a Development Bank for Women& Youth (DBWY). This is a specialized, non-interest bank and based on equity participation. BH members will open accounts. DBWY will be funded by Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and other depositors. All successful applicants (BH members) for funding assistance will undergo Enterprise Development training and have a Management Consultant attached to ensure success of the enterprise.