The lnstitute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has urged graduates of its Entrepreneurship Development Centre (ICAN-EDC) to be innovative and create more jobs to cushion effects of rising unemployment in the country.
Immediate past president of the institute, Comfort Eyitayo, gave the charge at the weekend during the unveiling of ICAN Entrepreneurship Development Centre/maiden graduation of successful graduates of the centre in Lagos.
The centre was developed in partnership with First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. The ICAN-EDC, she said, was envisioned to provide practical and world class capacity building programmes in the areas of professional practice and Fintech with the potential for expansion into production activities, drives the training of chartered accountants who are not only future-ready, but also value adding job creators and not job seekers.
Eyitayo disclosed that the project was the outcome of the passion of the Institute to be part of the solution to the worrisome unemployment statistics in the country and a deliberate effort to drastically reduce the number of chartered accountants and other members of the public that may be part of the discouraging unemployment figure.
She told the 32 graduates of the centre that entrepreneurs have the potential to change the way we live and work at local and national levels. She emphasised that innovations would improve standards of living, create wealth and contribute to the growth of economies locally and across the globe.
The President reminded them that as graduates of the centre, they have become part of the solutions to the problem of unemployment in the country.
“Success as entrepreneurs requires that you take calculated risk, make uncommon and sometimes tough decisions as well as explore the so-called uncharted courses.
“You must see opportunities in every challenge, turn stumbling blocks to stepping-stones and always have a can-do spirit. It is our expectation that you have all acquired the skills that would make you competitive in the country and beyond, “Eyitayo said.
She charged them to promote the centre to friends, colleagues and family members, adding that the institute anticipates expanding its scope, over time, into production/manufacturing.
The ICAN boss appreciated organisations such as BSSL Technologies Limited, PKF Nigeria and Grand Thornton Nigeria that partnered with the Centre and absorbed, pro bono, the participants for the period required to gain additional practical experiences in their firms.
Also speaking, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank Ltd, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, represented by the Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Iyamabo, who said accountants have contributed enormously to the nation’s economy, lauded the institute for developing the scheme. He noted that it would go a long way in bridging the unemployment gap in the country. Adeduntan announced a plan by the bank to set up an endowment fund for the sustainability of the centre to empower accountants. He advised beneficiaries of the centre to maximise its potential.
In a remark, the special guest of honour, Dr. Ike Nwokolo said the initiative of the Institute would no doubt contribute to empowering members and the public for self-reliance and financial empowerment.
He said entrepreneurship is no longer a buzzword but a tested model for boosting growth and development of any economy and improving the income-earning potentials of the populace.
“It is highly commendable that ICAN is setting the pace for other Professional Bodies in the country with the establishment of this training and capacity-building Centre. I admonish you to remain positive and see opportunities where others see challenges. You should all dare to be different and explore new and untapped business opportunities,” he said.
Nwokolo who is also the vice chairman, Body of Past Presidents (BoPP) of ICAN, also urged the graduates to take advantage of technology to create their own business, face challenges headlong and be determined to distinguish themselves as entrepreneurs in Nigeria.