Chinemerem Oguegbe is a business development specialist and the Managing Director of GeoServe Integrated Services Limited. In this exclusive interview with O’star Eze, he x-rays his model for tackling unemployment and low level of productivity among Nigerian young people, how he thinks the Nigerian economy can be revamped and the reason internet fraud is gaining popularity among Nigerian youths
Q – WHY DO YOU THINK THE AVERAGE NIGERIAN YOUTH IS EAGER TO LEARN HOW TO DEFRAUD OTHERS (YAHOO YAHOO) AND CAN STAY UP LONG NIGHTS SPINNING THE WEB BUT IS NOT READY TO GIVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF DEVOTION TO GROWING A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS
A – The alarming increase in the number of youths engaging in the yahoo business is a clear confirmation of the commitment of young Nigerians to make it at all cost, with every possible means available and unfortunately lacking a ready platform to showcase their creativity and ingenuity.
We went to school with a mindset that once you graduate from school, you get a good job and live your dream life. On graduation, you realize there is no job. Nobody teaches you the skill to survive without a paid job. Young graduates get frustrated not knowing the next step to take in life, them from nowhere a friend pops up with a new car and living a luxurious lifestyle. He teaches you a way to defraud people and make money out of it, he commits himself to teaching you the needed skills, buys you a laptop and mentors you in the yahoo business. He encourages you to work hard and within a short period money starts coming in and you realize that’s the only avenue available to you to actualize your dreams.
What am I trying to say, most of the available platform for lot of young people to acquire skills to get rich unfortunately provided by hoodlums and tricksters. And a lot of young people have the desire to get rich at all cost. Matching that desire with the only available platform to actualize that desire gave birth to what we today refer to us Yahoo Yahoo.
I believe that when government provides platforms to educate young people on how to create wealth and build businesses, a lot of youths will be eager and willing to put in time and effort to learn. In other words, government has a lot to do in re-engineering the psyche of the younger generation
Q – YOU HAVE SAID THAT THE PRAYER ‘LET LABOUR MARKET FAVOUR YOU’ WHICH IS USUALLY SAID AMONGST NIGERIANS IS A LIE. WHY?
A – It is a lie because there is no job out there. The few jobs available are reserved for the privileged children of the Rich, their relations and cronies. From statistics, Nigerian Universities graduate around 500,000 youths annually. Of this number only about 40% get gainful employment leaving about 60% wallowing in the streets of Nigeria in search of their daily bread. So I find it funny when I hear such prayers and blessings on a system designed for the survival of the few that is privileged and connected.
Q – YOU HAD ONCE SAID ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLE THAT THERE IS ENORMOUS POWER IN KEEPING PROMISES AND HONORING COMMITMENTS. CAN YOU THROW MORE LIGHT ON THIS
A – Keeping promises and honoring commitments is the basic fundamental in building a strong character. And for anybody that wants to build a sustainable business that is the foundation for Business Trust. For someone to do Business with you there must be an established form of Trust and with trust comes a proven track of keeping promises and honoring commitments. Every young man or woman seeking to be successful in Life should make it a point of duty to keep promises and honor commitments. You cannot promise to deliver a product or service at an agreed time and fail and still expect to be trusted to keep future promises. Simply put, keeping promises and honoring commitments is the foundation for every successful Entrepreneur
Q – YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES ARE AWASH WITH AND SEEM DEDICATED TO TIPS ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP. WHY ARE YOU THIS PASSIONATE ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
A – I am so passionate about Entrepreneurship because during my journey to self discovery, I realized that it is only as an Entrepreneur that I can live my dreams, be financially free and contribute my quota to National Development. I also realized that the only solution to the high rate of unemployment is to awaken the Entrepreneurial spirit of young people. It is only through building of Entrepreneurs that our Nations dwindling economy will be transformed. Young people should be equipped with the skills and knowledge on how to own and build businesses. They should be mentored on becoming Job creators and not job seekers.
Am this passionate because I realized that true success and financial freedom lies in the hands of Entrepreneurs and until we awaken this consciousness in the minds of young people we can never tap into the huge potentials of our nation, Nigeria.
A- We are creating a platform for young people to become Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. We want to awaken the Giant Within every Nigerian Youth. At Geoserve we are inventing a paradigm shift in the mindset of young people to seize seeking for white collar jobs to becoming Business Owners.
Our platform is designed to train, mentor and assist young people to own their Businesses. Already we are working with over 50 young people to become Business Owners and equip them with skills needed to run a sustainable business.
Also having noticed that capital is a huge problem for most start-ups, we are creating a platform for Nigerians to invest in start-ups through equity ownership in lucrative and sustainable businesses. We are offering a platform where young people with Business ideas can connect with Individuals looking for equity investment opportunities and form strategic business partnerships.
We have a lot to offer in Business Development, Small Business Start-up mentoring and Work Force Management for Companies, Private Organizations and Government Agencies
Q – MANY COMPANIES ARE FOLDING UP EVERY DAY IN NIGERIA AND THE BLAME IS CAST ON GOVERNMENT. WHOSE FAULT IS IT WHEN ONE’S BUSINESSES FAIL? WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT MILITATE AGAINST BUSINESSES IN NIGERIA
A – It is mostly the fault of the Business owner when Businesses fail. Studies have shown that 70% of Business Failures occurs within the First 5years of start-up and this is attributed to the fact that a lot of people go into Businesses without having the skill or knowledge on how to run a Business. 80% of people that go into Business go into Business with the wrong reason and intention.
One of the highest misconceptions about Business is the fact that having the Technical Expertise in a particular field will qualify you to effectively run a business in same field. That you are a good hair stylist does not qualify you to own a hair salon business. That you are good in repairing Laptops and Accessories does not in any way qualify you to run a Engineering Repair Business, having incredible make-up skills doesn’t mean you can effectively run a make-up company.
It needs specialized skills to effectively run a Sustainable Business in any field of endeavor. A lot of Nigerians see themselves qualified to run businesses once they have a skill, an office space and cash flow to clear expenditures. When the Technicalities and challenges in running a Business springs up, they suddenly realize that they have no idea on how to tackle them. Business suddenly becomes scary and the thought of running your once lucrative Business turns into a nightmare. Some immediately look for whom to blamed, some blame their employees for not showing commitment to work, some blame the Government and their harsh economic policies while others blame it on unavailability of funds.
But the truth is that the Business Owner has refused to train himself on what it takes to run a sustainable Business and never saw reasons to acquire the skills needed before becoming a Business owner.
Q – HOW DO YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS WILLING TO SEEK YOUR PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE OR ENGAGE IN YOUR MENTORING PROGRAMS GET TO YOU
A – We are in an age where almost everybody is connected via the internet and use of smart phones. Young Nigerians willing to go into Business or seeking mentoring programs on start-ups can go to our website www.geoserve.com.ng and indicate the services they need and our team of young professionals will always be on hand to attend to such requests. So if you are young,willing to live a purpose driven Life and wanting to fulfill your dream of becoming an Entrepreneur, then we are here at Geoserve to help you with the needed skills and give you a platform to share ideas with the next Generation of Business Men and Women in Nigeria.