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Imo govt to tackle unemployment with family business

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The Imo State Government has shed more light on how it plans to empower local families with its kindred model initiative.

Speaking on Sunday, the Chief Economic Adviser to the state government, Professor Kenneth Amaeshi, who played host to a virtual programme titled, ‘The Potential of One kindred, One business Initiative in Imo State,’ noted the plans of the government to empower families by making sure some selected families are able to handle one business or the other, which will enable them to make income and in turn contribute to the state economy.

Discussing the feasibility and sustainability of the programme, Amaeshi lamented the unemployment rate in the country, saying “unemployment is a global problem and also an African problem. The World Bank data has it that about 60% of African youths are unemployed.”

Noting that this was terrifying, he added that “some of the challenges (of Nigeria) from insecurity to others, can be linked to the single problem of unemployment,” hence, the necessity of the kindred initiative.

He said, “The Italian economy has a lot of family businesses, the same as the United States of America, but the family business here would be a situation whereby you have the family unit, a man, woman and the children and they have a business to themselves.”

He noted that the model had been successful in foreign countries.

Speaking on the platform, the Founder, Lift Above Poverty Organisation, Dr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, who lauded the initiative, however observed few limitations that might be a challenge in having a family engaged in the same business, as he raised concerns about the possibility of unequal commitment from the family members.

Using the analogy of a community goat, he said, “A goat that is owned by the community obviously would be starved, and I think that is the same that businesses that are owned collectively is likely to lack individual ownership, and that can affect the viability of such businesses.”

He suggested the application of essential features of formal cooperative societies or unions to an extended family group and see how each member of that economic association could be empowered to engage in viable businesses.

When asked by our correspondent on the sustainability of businesses amid security situations in the South-East, Imo inclusive, Amaeshi maintained that the empowerment would tackle insecurity, noting that insecurity itself is largely influenced by unemployment.

Reacting to a question from our correspondent on the feasibility of the empowerment based on the literacy level of any local family, and amid the Central Bank Of Nigeria’s policy of cashless transactions, the Chief Economic Adviser, who is a Professor of Sustainable Finance and Governance, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, said, “The government can provide some training, and enhance the families who have come together in different ways. Again, I would be surprised if the entire kindred is illiterate.”

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