1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It has been reported that Nigeria is the most populated nation in Africa with a population of over 160 million according to 2006 census and she has the fourth largest economy in the continent. Ironically, Nigerian is categorized among the poorest in the world with more than 60% of the country’s population living below poverty line, that is, they live on less than one U.S Dollar per-day according to National Planning Commission (NPC, 2004). This situation persisted inspite of the fact that the country exports huge quantities of crude oil daily (Terdoo, 2014). The problem with Nigeria stems from the fact that a vast percentage of her population is made up of peasant farmers, petty traders, civil servants (some of whom are underemployed) and the rest unemployed. The unemployment rate in the country was put at about 3 million by 2004 (NBS, 2004); while the polytechnics, mono-technics, colleges of education and the universities continue to churn out graduates annually into the labour market that is already saturated due to their inability to start up their own businesses. This situation stem from the various challenges that confronts graduates especially OTM in achieving their career aspirations and entrepreneurship development.
Worried by the high rate of graduate unemployment which has been put at 1.8million yearly, Esene (2014) reported that the Presidency had in 2006, issued a directive to all higher educational institutions in Nigeria to include on its curriculum of studies, Entrepreneurship Development Education (EDE) as a compulsory course for all students irrespective of the students’ areas of discipline. Today, this directive is in force in all tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The introduction of Entrepreneurship Development Education (EDE) is seen as one of the right steps taken in the right direction. It should be noted that the introduction of basic education in Nigeria (FRN,2012) has provision for entrepreneurship education and it is also embedded in the secondary education, as well as tertiary education curriculum. Osuala (2004) stated that EDE is a programme that prepares individuals and students to undertake the formation of and/or operation of small business enterprises which also includes franchise operations for the purpose of performing all business functions relating to a product or service with emphasis given to the social responsibilities, legal requirements and risks for the sake of profit making in the conduct of a private enterprise. This implies that entrepreneurship programme prepares or equips learners with the skills that make them not just capable, but also willing to undertake and run a small business of any kind with the soleaim of making profit. This they can achieve because they have the acquired skills that are required for that task. Such business ventures could be in the area of product or service business.
Nwangwu (2006), notes that entrepreneurship is the willingness and the ability of an individual or a firm to identify an environmental change and exploit such an opportunity to produce goods and services for public consumption. Entrepreneurship is the totality of those attributes that enable a person to identify hidden business opportunities along with the capacity to organize needed resources with which to profitably take advantage of such opportunities in the face of calculated risk and uncertainty (Essien, 2006). The prosperity and progress of a nation depend on the quality of its people. If they are enterprising, ambitious and courageous enough to bear the risk, the society will develop quickly. Such people are identified as entrepreneurs and their character reflects entrepreneurship.
Osemeke (2012) states that entrepreneurship development refers to the process of enhancing entrepreneurial skills and knowledge through structured training and institution-building programmes. Entrepreneurship development aims to enlarge the base of entrepreneurs in order to hasten the pace at which new ventures are created. This accelerates employment generations and economic development. Entrepreneurial development focuses on the individual who wishes to start or expand a business. Moreover, entrepreneurship development in Nigeria concentrates more on growth potential and innovation. Essentially this means the acquisition of skills that will enable an entrepreneur to function appropriately and adequately in terms of turning the perceived challenges into opportunities.
A nation’s ability to generate a steady stream of business opportunities can only come about when its people take to entrepreneurial activities. Good Entrepreneurs can create a strong economy. They are an important facet of industrial growth and development of a nation. According to Harper (2003) entrepreneurship is the main mechanism that creates wealth, explanations of economic growth and development often ignore (or fail to acknowledge explicitly) the entrepreneurial forces of change and adaptation that underlie economic performance. Entrepreneurship development in the office management career has not been very successful due to the numerous challenges facing the entrepreneurship development of Office Technology and Management(OTM) graduates in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Nigeria is naturally endowed with entrepreneurship opportunities; however, the realization of the full potential of these opportunities has been dampened by some challenges (Ebiringa, 2012). It has however been worrisome that despite the accessibility of technology and government contributions towards entrepreneurship development, entrepreneurship in Nigeria has not performed creditably well and hence the expected vital and vibrant role OTM graduate entrepreneur should play in the economic growth and development of Nigeria has been constrained by the challenges, such as difficulties in accessing fund to start up their own business, lack of knowledge of the business venture they enter into, poor infrastructural to promote their business, unfair competition, multiple taxes, unfavorable monetary policies, inadequate market research, unfavorable fiscal policies, poor government policy implementation, which has constrained the entrepreneurship ability of the OTM students and graduate.
Oncompletion of their studies, OTM graduates are equipped with the necessary entrepreneurial knowledge and skills to become entrepreneurs and further their career aspirations. However, OTM graduates in Nigeria are faced with mountain of challenges that hamper their entrepreneurship and career development. This study is therefore undertaking to examine entrepreneurship and the office management career; it challenges and prospects.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to assess entrepreneurship in the office technology and management career: Challenges and prospects. The study has the following specific objectives.
1. To ascertain the entrepreneurship opportunities in the OTM programme.
2. To ascertain the extent to which Entrepreneurship Development Education (EDE) has enhanced entrepreneurship skills among OTM graduates.
3. To ascertain the challenges of effective entrepreneurship development among OTM graduates.
4. To determine the extent to which government has contributed to effective entrepreneurship development among OTM graduates.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will provide relevant information on the importance of entrepreneurship development to stakeholders in the education sub-sector which will encourage them to put in place policies and measures that will enhance entrepreneurship development education in schools.
Secondly, it will also provide useful information to the government that will stimulate the government to put in place measures that will promote and enhance entrepreneurship development of Graduates in Nigeria.
Thirdly, the study will provide relevant information that will enhance collaboration between private institutions and the government to fashion out an effective way of providing an enabling environment for the growth of entrepreneurship among graduates in Nigeria.
Finally, this study will add to the body of literature pertaining to career structure and job satisfaction.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions are raised in line with the objectives of the study.
1. What are the entrepreneurship opportunities in the OTM programme?
2. To what extent has Entrepreneurship Development Education produced relevant entrepreneurship skills among OTM graduates?
3. What are the challenges of effective entrepreneurship development in Nigeria?
4. To what extent has government contributed to effective entrepreneurship development among OTM students?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The study will geared towards testing the following hypotheses
H0: There is no significant relationship between the mean rating of entrepreneurship opportunities and OTM programme.
H0: There is no significant relationship between the mean ratings of entrepreneurship development education as yardstick for producing relevant entrepreneurship skills among OTM graduate.
H0: There is no significant relationship between effective entrepreneurship developments has it relate to many challenges in Nigeria.
H0: There is no significant relationship between government contributions and effective entrepreneurship development among OTM students.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is aimed at investigating the challenges and prospect of entrepreneurship in the office technology and management career. Therefore, the study area covers OTM students in Kenule Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic Bori.
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