UMA AGM: Don Underscores Entrepreneurship as Catalyst to Drive Economic Growth

The need for entrepreneurship development has been greatly emphasized for developing countries with apparent economic hardship and mass poverty.

The remark was made by Dr. Ayodele Ibrahim Shittu of the Department of Economics during the 34th Annual General Meeting of the University of Lagos Muslim Alumni Association (UM) which held on Monday, October 2, 2023, inside the Islamic Center Hall of the University Mosque.

The hybrid event which featured Quranic recitation, and prayer session had in attendance notable alumni including former UMA President and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Alh. LereAlimi; Group Sports Editor, Complete Football/ Magazine, Dr. MuminiAlao; Director, Centre Information Technology & Systems, UNILAG Professor M.O.H Amuda; and Dean, Students Affairs, UNILAG, Professor Musa Adebayo Obalola. Other invited guests who graced the meeting were the Provost, Federal College of Education(Technical) Akoka, Dr. Wahab Azeez, and former Presidents of the Association, Lateef Bakare, and Alhaji Razak Oladejo who joined virtually.

Speaking on the topic “Rethinking Entrepreneurship in a Changing Economic Landscape”, Dr. Shittu identified the various contexts of entrepreneurship and the fact that entrepreneurship is a complex process that occurs on multiple levels. 

He opined that the challenging circumstances need entrepreneurs as innovators, risk-takers, and wealth creators as well as potential catalysts for socio-economic growth. 

The former Deputy Director at the UNILAG Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Center probed Nigeria’s entrepreneurial drive, noting that it does not have a healthy supportive eco-system and effective policy for its transformation from a struggling state to a thriving socio-economic venture. 

According to him, entrepreneurship enhances employability, and a more progressive system allows entrepreneurs to scale up through the productive exploitation of opportunities supported by policies that will not overly penalize entrepreneurs in making mistakes.

Dr. Shittu also spoke about social entrepreneurship which is based on applying entrepreneurial principles, processes, and operations to achieve social changes. 

In his words “…we need to be better to improve our entrepreneurship drive. The current dominant focus on cost-efficiency needs to be replaced by sustainable opportunity exploitation.”

His presentation pointed out the role of entrepreneurship within the university and hailed the University for its approach to promote entrepreneurial spirit and support students to set up profitable business ventures along their chosen professions before graduation. He urged UMA to partner with the Entrepreneurship Centre to improve the quality of life for both individuals and communities, create new jobs, eliminate poverty in local areas as well as bring about economic independence.

In his welcome remark, the UMAA President, Professor Khalid Adekoya welcomed and expressed gratitude to the UMAA members for their immense contributions. He thanked the Trustees, elders, and NEC members whose financial contributions were instrumental to the realization of the Association’s projects.

Professor Adekoya gave a report of the Association’s activities in the last one year of his tenure and identified some key areas it focused on which consequently led to the advancement of UMA.

His words, “For an organization to accomplish its tasks and aspirations, fund is oxygen that powers the vision and mission.”

He revealed that in order to continuously engage members positively; there have been regular, quarterly webinar series anchored by erudite scholars in their fields on political, developmental, financial, entrepreneurial, and religious topics for the benefit of members and the general public.

The 34th Annual General Meeting of the UMA is the first under the leadership of Professor Khalid Adekoya as President.

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