President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has revealed that the success or failure of any of his businesses does not bother him or make him lose sleep like the rate of unemployed Nigerian youths.
Dangote, the richest man in Africa, disclosed this at the weekend on the sideline of a meeting with business leaders/chief executive officers from Nigeria and Kenya held at the Dangote Lekki free-trade zone in Lagos.
He stated that unemployment gives him sleepless nights, as he posited that it’s the collective responsibility of both the government and entrepreneurs to create jobs for the teeming Nigerian youths as a way of solving the restiveness and agitations that the nation is experiencing from different geo-political zones.
According to him, population growth is not abating as population and poverty go together especially in the northern part of the country where limitless procreation is recorded.
Dangote also harped on diversification as the major solution to the unemployment challenges the nation is facing, submitting sadly though, that successive governments had always paid lip service to job creation and diversification.
“Since 1978, when I came to Lagos, government has been talking about diversification of the economy which has not happened up till now. It is also sad that nobody is challenging anybody about how many jobs he or she has created.
“In reality though, it is not solely government duty to provide jobs. It is also the duty of entrepreneurs, but government at all levels must provide the enabling environment. When there is no jobs, people get frustrated, and I can tell you that the Boko Haram insurgency is a product of frustration. The way to go is diversification. Nigeria should diversify its economy, and take crude oil as icing on the cake.”
Dangote appealed to young entrepreneurs especially from the Lagos Business School (LBS) who were part of his audience to brace up for the challenge and do something differently. He described Nigeria as a scratched card that has not been touched, and would be useless after loading it. “Nigeria is like a recharge card.