A scientist and former commissioner of Science and Technology in the old Rivers State, Dr. Emmanuel Denenu has asserted that for a nation to advance technological the youths must be deliberately empowered and encouraged to acquire technological skills.
Dr. Denenu who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, emphasized the need to stir up the intellectual capacity of the youths to compete globally, urging them to dream big and believe in their God- given ability to achieve great things.
He made the assertion at the Global Entrepreneurship Week organised by the Bayelsa Tech Hub with the theme: “The Benefits of Driving Growth of SMEs with Tech” in Yenagoa.
According to him, technological advancement and the internet has made it easy for people to acquire knowledge and learn different skills to be able to compete in the global space.
Denenu who was a one time Special Assistant to the former Minister of Science and Technology said that ” the way forward is for us to know that the current age of knowledge and technological advancement belongs to the new millennia, those under 38 years.
“We have to deliberately empower the young people, show them the right way to go and give incentives to those who have demonstrated capacity. Clearly the older generation cannot cope technologically with the current age so let us empower the young generation.”
In his keynote address, the Director General of the Bayelsa Micro-finance Enterprise Development Agency (BYMEDA), Mr. Ebiekure Eradiri said in line with the mandate of the Agency, it has been able to promote and support the growth of micro and medium scale enterprises to flourish, generate decent jobs and create wealth.
Eradiri who highlighted the challenges of SMEs to include lack of funds, lack technological innovation and the right capacity to manage businesses, noted that it is for the reasons that the Agency in 2015 partnered with the CBN to disburse N2 billion grants, give out loans to business owners and build capacity for entrepreneurs.
He lamented the inability of most business owners who collected loans to repay such loans, stressing that the system has been restructured to forestall the nonpayment of loans following the directive by CBN that defaulters’ BVN be submitted for easy tracking.
Earlier in his remarks, the Manager of Bayelsa Tech Hub, Mr. Harry Porbeni stated that the Bayelsa Tech Hub is an enterprise development centre aimed at driving innovations by developing trends locally that thrives globally.
Porbeni maintaining that it is also to find solutions to technological challenges in key sectors to stimulate the local economy.
He noted that it is the reason the Hub is partnering with organisations that are pro-tech in a bid to create platforms to source for solutions in resolving challenges facing such organizations.