Entrepreneurship Drive and Undergraduate in Nigeria

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1.1 Background of the Study

Due to the current political, economic, and social influence of the global economic meltdown, many countries of the world have resolve to focus on their domestic economy so as to foster a sustainable and virile domestic economy that will be moderately resistant from the economic and financial strangling that may try to reoccur in the future. The recent global economic meltdown has brought to the limelight, as well as the reality, that the world is a global market (Banabo & Ndiomu, 2011). Nigeria has a history of post-colonial agrarian economy and is now heavily dependent on the oil and gas economy (Ahiauzu, 2010). Efforts are now being made to diversify the economy by investing for example in agriculture and also encouraging the manufacturing sector.

However, entrepreneurship-led development strategies are now being emphasised as these have proven successful in several Less Developed Countries (LCDs).  A major defect in the Nigerian educational system, inclusive of the universities, is its theoretical inclination. For one instance, most Nigerian universities produce graduate who are at best only suited for white collar jobs and have little or no basic skills of any other vocational relevance. Naturally, such a situation will lead to high unemployment rate especially among university graduates (Ejere & Tende, 2012).

Nigeria like most developing nations of the world is faced with myriad of problems ranging from poverty, unemployment, ethno-religious conflicts, to diseases among others (Ngozi, 2012). These situations pose great challenges to the very existence of individuals in most developing nations thereby calling for the training of educated men and women who can function effectively in the society in which they live.  Nigeria needs to reposition her graduates and young people in general into aggressive motivated and enterprising individuals in a way that will bring drastic reduction of unemployment and job creation (Festus 2000).

Despite the compulsory Entrepreneurship Education in Nigerian universities, many graduates still remain unemployed for a long time after graduation. The Entrepreneurship Education delivered to undergraduates in their 300-level seems not to be meeting the aims and the objectives for the compulsory course. In an attempt to redirect energies of Nigerian youths to productive activities upon graduation from universities, the Federal Government in 2007, through National University Commission introduced entrepreneurial education into the university academic curriculum. However, after eight years of implementing this laudable educational policy, youth unemployment and other negative vices are yet to abate.

One of the major concerns of most societies in the modern time is how to stem the ever rising tide of unemployment and achieve appreciable success in wealth creation and poverty reduction and foster socio-economic development. (Bello 1999). Stakeholders in education have constantly lamented the unfortunate trend in which tertiary institutions annually turn out graduates who roam our streets daily in search of non-existing jobs. They have placed this ugly phenomenon on the door step of a dysfunctional education system that has structurally failed to capture the dynamic nature of education as agent of transformation and a catalyst for individual and societal self-reliance. In a positive reaction to this development, federal government in 2007 revised the curricula of university education to include entrepreneurship education in order to equip the Nigerian graduates in an effort to reduce the growing unemployment and to create more jobs as well as wealth.

Taking an analytical approach, this paper shed more light on the role played by entrepreneurship education in stimulating entrepreneurial spirit and job creation among Nigerian graduates.

There is no consensus on the exact meaning of entrepreneurship as scholars and practitioners have tried to define it in various forms. Entrepreneurship is the term used broadly in connection with innovative and creative modern industrial business leaders (Emeruwa, 2005). It is often defined in respect to the functions of an entrepreneur as the man who perceives business opportunities and takes advantage of the scarce resources to use them profitably (Akinbode, 2009).

Suleiman (2010) believes that entrepreneurship education seeks to prepare people particularly the youths to be responsible, enterprising individual who became entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers by immersing them in real life learning experience whereby they can take risks, manage result and learn from the outcome. Entrepreneurship studies entails teaching people that they can either take or create a job. This will enable them to be self-employed and not relying on other job security. Often, it creates new job for others at the same time. Entrepreneurship studies training could be given to interested individuals both adults and students through workshops, classes, and conferences thereby learning the basic ideas of starting their own businesses and managing it well.

Okojie (2009) contended that the entrepreneur is believed to possess some traits which includes; boldness, confidence, personal leadership and force. An entrepreneur is also defined as a person who has an inclination to foresee uncertain events in pursuit of profit rather than bringing about a change in the economy.

The Nigerian government through the National Universities Commission has made it compulsory on every undergraduate student to offer Entrepreneurial course as a step towards stimulating active and productive Entrepreneurial activities in the country. It is believed, would help in developing students’ attitude and interest in Entrepreneurship. Also the Federal Government and National Universities Commission recently directed all Federal Universities to establish Entrepreneurship Study/Development Centres (ESCs) at each of the Universities.

This centre is to be funded by Educational Trust Fund (ETF). This is to enable students to acquire practical aspect of Entrepreneurship. Osuala (2010) opined that entrepreneurship education is a programme or part of a programme that prepares individuals to undertake the formation and or operate small business enterprises which also includes franchise operations for the purpose of performing all business functions relating to a product or service with emphasis on social responsibilities, legal requirement and risks for the sake of profit involved in the conduct of private business enterprises.


Entrepreneurship Drive and Undergraduate in Nigeria

1.2 Statement of the Problems

In view of the positive social and economic effects of entrepreneurship, many Nigerian universities are now advancing entrepreneurial thinking and behavior to develop students’ awareness of the relevance of entrepreneurship training. Oviawe (2010) had reiterated the massive unemployment of Nigerian universities graduates in the country and had traced the problem to the disequilibrium between labour market requirements and lack of essential employable skills by the graduates.

In Nigeria before the advent of colonial rule, unemployment was a rare phenomenon because the people were highly entrepreneurial and productively engaged. This entrepreneurial engagement is prevalent in Yoruba land of western Nigeria, Hausa land of the northern Nigeria, and among Igbo people of eastern Nigeria. This was achieved through encouragement of communal wealth creation and productive use of human resources, thus forestalling unemployment. However, the emergence of formal administration in Nigeria introduced formal education which enabled people to have the opportunity of being employed in the civil service after graduation.

As such, the system destroyed self-reliance and entrepreneurial skills of Nigerians as they became permanently dependent on the colonial masters (Raimi and Adeleke, 2010). This has led to massive unemployment and craze in the contemporary times for ready-made jobs. In the circumstances therefore, this study evaluated the impacts of entrepreneurial studies on the entrepreneurial mindsets of first degree graduate of University of Uyo, Uyo.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main objective is to critically examine the impact of entrepreneurship studies among university graduates. A case study of University of Uyo.

Specially, this study would seek to:

  • Determine where there is need for Entrepreneur Education for Nigeria Undergraduate in students of University of Uyo.
  • Examine approaches of providing entrepreneurial education in University of Uyo.
  • Determine the extent to which students exposed to entrepreneurial education are willing to undertake the establishment of their own enterprises.
  • Find out the current impact of entrepreneurship education among university graduates in Nigeria.
  • Critically examine various challenges facing entrepreneurship education among university graduates.

1.4 Research Questions

The following are the formulated research questions to provide guidelines to this study:

  1. Why is there need for Entrepreneur Education for Nigeria Undergraduate in students of University of Uyo?
  2. What are the approaches of providing entrepreneurial education in University of Uyo?
  3. What is the extent to which students exposed to entrepreneurial education are willing to undertake the establishment of their own enterprises?
  4. What is the current impact of entrepreneurial education among University graduates in Nigeria?
  5. What are the challenges militating against entrepreneurship education among university graduates in Nigeria economy?

1.5 Scope of the Study

This study is concerned with the impact of entrepreneurship education among under graduate students in University of Uyo.

This research work would focus its effort towards obtaining information from the undergraduate of the eight Faculties in University of Uyo, F.C.T Uyo. Which are; Department of Art and Social Science Education (ASSE), Department of Educational Management (DEM), Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology (CEP) and Department Science and Environmental Education (SEE).

Due to time and finance constraint, the study would limit it survey to the four(4)  department in Education faculty of University of  Uyo as seen above.

Entrepreneurship Drive and Undergraduate in Nigeria

1.6  Significance of the Study

This study “The Impact of Entrepreneurship Studies in Nigeria University” is of great benefit to the following people: Stakeholder, University Administrator, Government, Graduates

This study would be of great benefits to stakeholders in private driven economy as they would be showed the basic means of maximizing the skills in graduates with a quality entrepreneurship education in the economy. The reason why this economy is a little bit stagnant or not moving forward as it ought to be is that; there is massive dependence on certain aspects of the economy for the development of the economy in general and by so doing, some areas have been left stagnant and untapped which is likewise rich and which would further boost the development of the economy.

This study would also seek to motivate university administrators to take entrepreneurship education very seriously and supply it with full resources it needs for the successful possession of the knowledge it carries. This study would seek to also motivate secondary school leavers to take up this discipline so as to contribute immensely to their own development and the economy they belong as well.

This study also would benefit the government of the economy in which the University graduates with entrepreneurship education belongs to. They would cause the development of the economy through their entrepreneurship ideas which would cause a more balanced economy in Nigeria for example, Government would not need depend solely or too much on one aspect of the economy for revenue generation, the presence of entrepreneurship graduates in the economy would help cause the Nation to contend with larger revenue generation and other sectors of the country and other neighboring countries.

This study also would benefit the graduates in the sense that a possession of such entrepreneurship education aids them to benefit their economy which would personally build in them a sense of belonging and also create a career for them in which they would be determined to cause impact and make sure they get the best out of their career and also it gives them the chance to be blessed especially financially and socially. The students will develop interest in the Entrepreneurship Education. They will be more serious with the course and can apply themselves in establishing small business enterprise in absence of employment opportunities after graduating from the universities. The employers will be happy to have workers who are business conscious, who would help to increase the productivity of various companies.

1.7Operational Definition of Terms   

Entrepreneur: – an entrepreneur is a risk taker involved in the production of services to satisfy human wants and to maximize profit in the best suitable ways.

Entrepreneurship education: – it is the art of obtaining skills in the effective and efficient production of services.

Private driven economy: – is an economy in which its sectors are being managed and decisions are taken over such sectors by private individuals

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