According to the 2017 World Economic Outlook produced by the IMF, Nigeria’s GDP currently ranks 29th globally. This is mainly because of its strong reliance on oil. In 1999, Nigeria elected its first democratic government, and each government has focused on implementing progressive policies, something that Esther Nenadi Usman has always had strong involvement in. She also worked tireless on ensuring all Nigerians could gain access to both education and technology. Unfortunately, despite various national and international efforts, the country continues to be classed as “information poor”, something that Nendia aims to address after the elections.
Nenadi Aims to Improve Entrepreneurial Spirit
While the country remains information poor, the average Nigerian has far more access to technology now than ever before. This has led to the development of some strong entrepreneurial spirits. Real innovation is happening and Nigerian enterprises are changing the country and its economy. For instance, it is now the largest trading partner with the United States in Sub-Saharan Africa, naturally linked strongly to oil again.
However, Nenadi believes it is also time that the “Nigerian Paradox” were resolved. This paradox is that Nigeria is one of the richest countries in the world for natural resources, yet millions of people continue to live in abject poverty with little care for human rights. This is a direct result of the years of turmoil and political unrest the country has gone through, but Nenadi feels it can be resolved.
It is undeniable that Nigeria has had a disturbing past and that its people have had to pay a heavy toll for this. Nenadi, however, believes this can be turned around, particularly by ensuring young people become involved in the country’s development. 90% of all new jobs in the country come from an unorganized sector, and this contributes to 65% of the country’s GDP. This, she believes, is where the focus should be. And, in so doing, various improvements have become noticed, including:
The fact that young entrepreneurs are able to provide themselves and their families with financial and social security by controlling their own lives.
The fact that the government encourages the shipment of products from Nigeria to both Europe and America.
The fact that the government has put tax incentives in place for entrepreneurial development.
The fact that there is a strong focus on increasing access to modern technology, supported by government aid.
Numerous opportunities exist that Nenadi wants to give her full support. They include:
The Small and Medium Enterprises Equity Investment Scheme (SMEEIS).
The Small and Medium Scale Industries Development Agency (SMEDAN).
The Skills and Ideas Development Initiatives (SKIDI).
Nigeria is a country that has faced much adversity, but it always comes out on top and never gives up. Esther Nenadi is aware of the deep-rooted problems her country faces, and she is aware of the many failed attempts at resolving these issues. But she believes every failed attempt is a lesson to be learned and that things can only get better, something in which she certainly appears to be correct.