#TrackNigeria: Chairman, First Bank Nigeria Plc, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, says there is need for enterprise education in the country in order to ensure economic diversification and development to tackle security challenges.
Awosika made the call while speaking on the topic; Economic Diversification and National Development in Nigeria, at the inauguration of ‘Course 28’ of the National Defence College, on Tuesday in Abuja.
She said that the nation’s security challenges could be addressed through widespread development and deliberate structuring of economic opportunities.
Awosika further explained that the increasing rural migration to a few urban cities would continue to pose security challenges if left unchecked.
She, added that providing distributed economic development around the country would counter security challenges.
“If we don’t engage our teaming population made up of able bodied young people who are supposed to be our national assets, they would become a national problem.
“We need a lot of SMEs to be able to employ because the largest employers of labour are the SMEs even in developed countries like the U.S.
“We need to deliberately encourage the creation of businesses through enterprise education.
“We need a more holistic and strategic plan for our population in terms of employment,” She said
Awosika who also advocated that reliance on oil should be de-emphasised, urged government to begin to look at other opportunities in the economy
According to her, insecurity in the country is occasioned by the lack of job opportunities.
She stressed that the role of security and development was central to peace and stability.
The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, said the theme of NDC Course 28 on economic diversification was in line with one of the strategic objectives of the Federal Government to ensure sustainable economic stability, growth and prosperity.
Magashi said that government had sought to expand the non-oil sectors such as science and technology, agriculture, industrialisation and tourism.
He added that the expansion of transportation infrastructure such as rail and facilitation of an enabling business environment with improved ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’ are all part of the overall processes of diversifying the economy.
“I am therefore confident that the guest lecturer will do justice to the selected topic which falls within her area of expertise.
“It is on this note that I congratulate the participants for their nomination for the course and the college for another milestone in its history.
“It is my pleasure and honour therefore, to formally inaugurate the National Defence College Course 28,” he said.
Earlier, the Commandant, NDC, Rear Adm. Markson Kadiri, said that the inauguration of ‘Course 28’ was assumed that participants had all been found worthy and required to assume the enormous and inherent responsibilities, without objections.
Kadiri explained that the participants would be guided by the core values of intellect, courage and patriotism to improve their knowledge skills, aptitudes and attitudes for strategic level military and non-military engagements in both national and international assignments.
He added that the participants would be faced with a variety of conceptual, hypothetical, real and simulated strategic level challenges for which there were no template solutions.
“You will thus be required to engage in long study and deep thought to challenge your assumptions on a number of security, defence and related subjects.
“Additionally, you will be required to interrogate national policies, strategies, operations, resource management and success criteria on a variety of related subjects.
“In keeping with the multi-dimensional nature of security and defence, participants will be groomed in a number of security themes such as the state and socio-political environment, economy and finance.
“They will also be groomed in science and technology, international and regional affairs, conflict and war studies, Peace Support Operations as well as national crisis management.
“These are geared to develop the art and science of statecraft and strategy for effective national security and defence management,” he said.
The commandant said that the course had been designed to acutely interrogate the wider implications for security from a particular element of national power.
According to him, participants will be required to study the aspirations, processes and programmes, challenges and prospects of economic diversification on national defence, security and development in due course.
Kadiri then urged the participants to show willingness, readiness and resilience to actively participate and benefit from the career changing experiences of the course.
“Share your requisite experiences and improve your overall capacities for future professional engagements.
“For the allied participants, I particularly enjoin you to make personal friendships and cultural exchanges and above all help to consolidate the existing relationships of our nations in furtherance of international peace and security,” he said. (NAN)