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YOUTH EMPOWERMENT

YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: A KEY TO SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

BY

TPL. DR. M.S JIMAH Ph.D, MNITP, RTP, FCE, FCAI
DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENUERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, (CEDAP) AUCHI POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI.

BEING A PAPER PRESENTED AT THE 45TH WORLD DAY OF COMMUNICATIONS

AT

St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church, Jattu, Uzairue,

ON THE 26TH MARCH, 2011
ABSTRACT
Youth empowerment is pivotal to economic growth and national development. Developing countries like Nigerian that desires to develop coupled with cooperation of her citizens commit a sizeable proportion of resources to empowering the citizens most especially the youth if developmental objectives must be attained. This paper titled Youth Empowerment: A key to Economic Growth and National Development examines the conceptual meaning of Empowerment, The Nigerian environment, empowerment programmes and challenges of youth empowerment programmes in Nigeria. The paper concluded that if Nigeria must join the league of developed nations by 2020 as projected by the world bark in recent years, it must pursue youth empowerment programmes aggressively, ensure constant power supply and human capital development (skills acquisition) while the disempowered Nigeria should take responsibility for their own gains by becoming managers of their own development.

1.0 INTRODUCTION
Between the 1950’s and early 1960’s, economic theory of development was based on having the right quality and mixture of saving, investment and foreign aid in other to proceed along an economic growth part that historically had been followed by the most developed economics. Development was seen as synonymous with economic growth. But in the 1970’s two competing economic schools of thought with the content of dependence theories replaced the linear stages of growth model. The first school of thought stressed the internal process of structural change that a “typical” developing country must under go if it to succeed in generating and sustaining a process of rapid economic growth. The second school of thought stressed the external and internal institutional and political constraints on economic development. It emphasized the need to put in place major and new policies to eradicate poverty to provide more diversified employment opportunities and to reduce income inequalities {Egbon 2009}.
Empowerment is at the centre of this aforementioned paradigm shift and attempt to reconceptualized and development strategies aimed at poverty alleviation. Therefore according to UNDP {1993} “The 1990’s paradigm shift in development thinking gave rice to a frame work that has an in-built understanding that development must be woven around people not people around development and it should power individual rather than disempowered than. This paper therefore attempts to examine the conceptual meaning of empowerment linked to the Nigeria economic environment empowerment programmes, and challenges of youth empowerment programmes in Nigeria.

2.0 Conceptual Classifications and Principles
Attempts are made (here) to trace the link between the Nigerian economic environment and the youth activity on the one land and empowerment on the other.
Empowerment: The new Webster’s dictionary says to “empower” implies ‘to give power to’ or ‘to enable’ someone. Also in the view of the BBC dictionary ‘when someone empowered to do something or he or she has the authority or power to do it. Empowerment is linked to concept of self help, participation, networking and equity within the context of community development.
Whereas it’s respectability within the vocabulary of development is not in doubt, its content is yet to acquire social agreement (Egbon, 2009).
Within an organization, empowerment is viewed as critical in the process of change. This is because rather than forcing or pushing people to change, empowerment provides a way of attracting them to change since they own the change process. People are empowered the moment they feel an enhancement of their abilities to control, influence or cope with their social economic roles (Conger and Kamugo, 1988).
The motivational dimension of empowerment involves various factors:
• People will not be empowered if they do not want to be. They have to believe in the merits and prospects of empowerment.
• Empowerment is about creating the condition conducive to enhancing motivation of performs. This implies developing the persons sense of self determination and enhancing his (her) belief in self efficacy.
Empowerment when entails providing the individual with the ability to perform, in terms of having the necessary skills and knowledge and giving a fair opportunity to perform (Mogolori (1998); Sprieritzer, (2005). Within the context of the society, the fundamental goal of empowerment is to help individual to improve the quality of their own lives and share equitably in the benefits if economic growth.
Empowerment is about helping people realize their creative and productive energies to achieve sustainable growth and continuous improvements in their living standards. It involves engraining the relevant stakeholders in a given process by applying principles of inclusiveness, transparency and accountability.
Generally, there are two categories of power holders in any socioeconomic system:
• The power of wealth or property
• The power of knowledge (the intellectuals)
Particularly in developing countries, the elite appropriate wealth for themselves by monopolizing power of the political level and through corruption at the administrative level. There is therefore, the need for empower people at the grassroots so as to create enabling conditions for a more equitable distribution of wealth and productive assets among citizens.
The holder of the power of knowledge are of the view that since both the market and the state have failed to provide for the poor and powerless, there is the need for new ideas and new leadership from the civil society to find a third alternative to capitalism and socialism. It is therefore clear from the aforementioned two views that power is to be given by those who have it to those who do not. Given that the powerful are not likely to be willing to give up power easily, the powerless most endeavour to empower themselves, rather than wait for the powerful to empower them.
Economic empowerment of citizen implies that disempowered people take responsibility for their own material gains on an on-going basis and become managers of their own development. Government cannot (and should not) impose empowerment from above (Egbon, 2009). Government should can (and should) ensure equal access to economic opportunities. It is however up to each citizen to take advantage of them or ignore them. The principle objectives of citizen economic empowerment should be expansion of income and employment, generating activities for as many people as possible, without sacrificing efficiency.
Therefore, economic empowerment strategies should generally include:
• Financial intervention; in order to assist local business activities.
• Enterprise development for citizens (increased access to skills, business and management training and improved production technologies).
• Marketing strategies for locally produced goods and services
• Bargaining strategies (for higher wages, better working conditions etc) for citizen employers
• Training and education consistent with skill requirements in the economy (Mogdori 1988; Conger and Kamugo, 1988; Enterprises 1999).

3.0 The Nigerian Economic Environment
Nigeria going by the aspiration and huge investment of successive governments should by now moved forwards a stage of progress developmentally. The persistence of the indices of underdevelopment in the country has cost a big question mark on the country’s planning and execution techniques usually employed by planner. Nigeria is adjusted as the “giant of Africa” and it is abundantly blessing with natural and human resources, but in the first four decades of its independence, the potentials remained largely untapped and even mismanaged (Ckukwuemeka, 2010). With a population estimated at about 140 million, Nigeria is the largest country in Africa and one-sixth of the black population in the world. It is the 8th largest deposit of natural gas in the world (Soludo, 2006). Currently, barely 40% of its arable land is under cultivation. With over 100 tertiary institution producing more than 2000,000 graduate per annum (Soludo, 2006). Startling as it may be about two-thirds of Nigerian people are poor, yet Nigeria is a country with vast potential wealth. Although revenues from crude oil have been increasing over the past decades the people of Nigeria have been falling deeper into poverty. In 1980 an estimated 27% of Nigerians lived in poverty (Chukwumeka, 2010).
By 1999, about 70% of the population had income of less than $1 a day- and the figure has risen since then (NEEDS, 2005). Poverty levels vary across the country, with the highest proportion of people in the northwest and the lowest in the southeast. A classical example of underscore the scope of misfortune is to compare Nigeria with Indonesia and even Malaysia. By 1972, before Nigeria and Indonesia had the first oil boom contents (Soludo, 2006), both countries were comparable in almost all shares; agrarian societies, multi-ethnic and religious societies, with comparable size of GDP e.t.c.
Both experience oil boom in 1973 and thereafter, both took differences policy choices. The outcomes of the differences in policy regimes are such that today, while manufactures as a percentages of total exports is about 40% in Indonesia, it is less than 1% in Nigerian where she was in the 1970 it would be recalled even Malaysia that has overtake Nigerian got her first palm seedling from Nigerian in the early 1960s, when oil palm produce was already a major export of Nigeria. In the 1990s, Malaysia export of palm produce earned it more than Nigeria earned from oil export (Suludo, 2006).
Poverty in Nigeria has many causes, all of which reinforce one another. One source of poverty is the lack of basic services. Such as clean water, education, and health care. Another is lack of asserts, such as land, tools credit and supportive network of friends and family. A third is lack of employment income, including food, shelter, clothing and empowerment above all lack of power. Some of these factors directly affect poverty while others contribute indirectly by producing inequality by stiffing political power of certain sector of the population (Chukwuemeka 2008).

4.0 Youth Empowerment Programmes in Nigeria
Beginning with the Harare declaration on the plan of action for youth empowerment in 1995 through the world youth ministers meeting in Portugal in 1998 to the youth ministers meeting in Solomon Island in 2000 (Suleiman 2006). The relevance of youth in contemporary development has received increased recognition in official circles. In Nigeria for example, the national youth development policy of 2001 and its accompanying implementation strategy are palpable testimonies to the renewed interest in the youth and development process.
The democratization process which started since 1991 to date has expanded the political space and provided ample opportunity for actors within the civil society to make their impact in the political process. The youth has been acknowledged as a formidable social force in this process, thus;…. youth are the most active segment of any society Imbued with relentless energy vigor and drive, the youth are the major catalyst for development in any given society. As future leaders and key determiners of the peace and stability of society, youth are indeed the greatest assets of any nation (Abdullai 2003).
This explains why the Nigerian government decided to embarked on such rural development initiatives programmes aimed at empowering the youth in the country our the years.
Apart from previous government failed efforts which includes operation feed the nation (OFN), Green revolution (GR) structural adjustment programme (SAP), directorate of food road and rural infrastructure (DFRRI), national directorate of empowerment (NED) etc it has also come up with renews efforts in empowering the youth through poverty alleviation programme (PAP). The Obasanjo government in 2004 came up with a comprehensive home-grown poverty reduction strategy (NEEDS).
The NEEDS as conceptualized is a medium term strategy (2003-2007), which derives from the country’s long-term goals of poverty reduction, wealth creation employment generation and value re-orientation. The NEEDS is a national coordinated framework of action in collaboration with the state and local governments and other stakeholder, NEEDS is aimed at all aspects of the peoples socio-economic life with the aim of reducing poverty are inequality. Despite her great natural wealth, Nigeria is still considered poor and social development in limited. Under the NEEDS, reforms are ongoing in the key sectors of the economy with objectives of poverty reduction through various anti-poverty programmes and policies.

5.0 Challenges Of Empowerment Programmes In Nigeria
Nigeria as developing country in seriously challenged by poverty. Out of every 10 Nigerians 7 live on less than $1 a day and the picture is getting bad by the day (Amobi, 2008). On account of poverty in Nigeria, poor parents beget poor children, thereby creating a kind of dynasty of the poor. Life expectancy is a more 54 years (Ckukwuemeka, 2008). Infant mortality is 77 per 100 and maternal mortality stand at 704 per 100,000 live birth which is about the highest in the world. Only about half the population of Nigeria had access to safe drinking water (40% in rural areas, 60% in urban areas). Unemployment and underdevelopment rate is put at 15% of the labour force (Amobi, 2008).
It is frightening that Nigeria with such a dismal outlook as presented above. May not qualify immensely to embrace the imperative of the empowerment policies embedded in the million development goals (MDGS) (that is, the number one main policy thrust of poverty reduction). There is no gain saying that effort made by the successive regimes and administration in Nigeria to stamp out poverty failed due to poor implementation and incompatibility of policy goals. For instance Eze (2007) conceals that the government of Olusegun Obasanjo adopted the policy of poverty eradication and promotion of socio-economic development and at the same time pursued a policy of retrenchment of thousands of workers from federal bureaucracy including the armed forces. This goes to show that some of the poverty oriented programmes of government like operation feed the nation (OFN); national directorate of employment (NDE), national poverty eradication programme (PEP), national economic empowerment and development strategy (NEEDS) etc have failed to solve the problem empowering the poor in Nigeria because of incompatibility of goals,.
Another problem that impedes the actualization of empowerment programmes in Nigeria argues Chukwuemeka (2008) is the nefarious practices of policies formulators. The policy makers in Nigeria formulate policies and programmes with some inbuilt flexibilities to allow them loopholes to make inordinate gains. For instance, most empowerment programmes do not get to the people at the grassroots where most of the poor people reside. The agents of these policy makers often hijack the benefit of such programmes and make returns accordingly to their principals.
The power sector is not production and thus the enabling environment is not guaranteed for low and medium business to thrive. The 17,000 mw currently generated by power holding company of Nigeria is grossly inadequate as against a minimum of 50,000 mw, Government regulatory policies are oftentimes not favourable to small-scale-business holders. Such policies includes: local government tariffs, business permission tariffs, environmental agency tariffs, etc.

6.0 CONCLUSION
Nigeria as one of the three countries in the world identified by the World Bank to join the league of developed nations by 2020, must harness all available resource most especially it human capital through its empowerment programmes now. Various studies over the years has show that a sizeable number of Nigerians living to the rural areas are disempowered.

7.0 RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on the forging, the following recommendations are suggested:
The government should purse policies and programmes that encouraged the growth and development of SMEs.
The power sector should be reposition so as to stop or minimse erratic power feature.
The down sizing and retrenchment policies of government is anti-poverty reduction strategy
Since government alone can do its all “disempowered Nigerians must take responsibility for their own material gains on sustainable basis and become managers of their own development (Egbon 2009).
The government should establish new and enhance existing human capital development centres most especially the skills acquisitions centres at affordable cost and accessible to her citizen.
The government should pursue policies that increase access to loans for financing SME by youth who are enterprising.

8.0 REFERENCES
Abdullia A (2003) Youth and Development in Nigeria Nasarawa State
National Youth Council of Nigeria. 14th August

Amobi D.S.C (2008) The Human Capital and Millennium Development
Goals in Nigeria: The Possibilities and Impossibilities, Journal of Policy and Development Studies 2 (1), 15-16

Egbon P.C (2009) Empowerment, Business Environment and
Entrepreneurial Activity in Nigeria Journal of Industrial and Technological Research Volume 1 No.1 April.

Enterprise (1999) “Empowerment Under Microscope” Vol. 133 Pp 46
47 June.

Eze G. (2007) The Politics of Poverty Eradication in Nigeria, Journal of
Policy and Development Studies 17(2) 56-57

Conger J.A and Kamingo R.W (1988) “The empowerment process:
Integrating theory and Practice Academy of Management Review 12:471-482

Ckukwemeka E.U (2008), The Substance of Public Administration in
Nigeria: A Compendium of Public Policy and Local Government. Enugu Computer Edge.

Ckukwuemeka E.E.O (2010) Poverty and the Millennium Development
Goals in Nigeria: The Nexus. International Journal of Economics Development Research and Investment. Vol. 1 No 1 April.

Mogotori M. (1998) “Citizen Empowerment in Boccim Globalization
and Interaction Competitiveness: Bostswana Toward 2016” Conference, Franistown Botswang

Suleman A.O (2006), The Nigerian Youth in Contemporary political
Development: Relevance, Challenges and Role Expectation, Lagos, Centre Constitutionalism and Dumulization.

Soludo,C (2006) Can Nigeria be the china of Africa” A paper delivered
At the Founders Day of the University of Benin, Benin City P. 20

Sprieitzer G.M (2005) “Musings on the past and future of employee
Empowerment” Hand books of Organizational Development. In Cummings T (ed) Thousand Oako: sage.

SKILL AND COMPETENCY ACQUISITION

SKILL AND COMPETENCY ACQUISITION THROUGH SYMBOLS-BASED PROJECTS OF CEDAP, AUCHI POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI: A SYNTHESIS

BY

1 2 3
TPL. JIMAH, M.S.* ; MRS. JIMAH,K.Q.; DR.(MRS). EBELE ONWUKA.

1. DIRECTOR, CEDAP, AUCHI POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI. EDO STATE.
2. AUCHI POLYTECHNIC AUCHI, EDO STATE.
3. FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC, OKO. ANAMBRA STATE.

ABSTRACT
In the bid to eradicate poverty, check high unemployment rate, and imbue graduates of Nigeria tertiary institutions with suitable employability skills to adapt them to the needs of the labour markets in order to further boost small and medium scale enterprises, create wealth, and empower our youths, the federal government through the Ministry of Education in 2007 made entrepreneurship development study a compulsory course requisite for graduation. Years into the introduction of this initiative, no proper evaluation has been done to assess the level of skill and competences acquired by the students in view of the enormous resources voted into the programme, and also to determine how much equip are the students to create a niche for themselves given little impetus in the labour market. Therefore, this paper attempts to assess the programme outputs, and students skill acquisition in Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi with the aim of evolving best practices that would enhance continuous professional development in the impartation of skills. The research elicited data from the student that were analyzed . A random sample size of 250 HND2 students representing about 10%, showed that though, the students appreciate the course and its contents, they insisted that the practical tools for it were absent and that some facilitators do not seem to have the requisite practical experience and therefore unable to carry students along during teaching. This paper recommends that practical workshops, laboratories and practical training units be established in line with the various practical products taught and competent resource persons employed to man them. This will go a long way in improving skill acquisition and widen the employability prospects of graduates which will in turn reduce poverty and check high unemployment rate, the paper concluded.

Keywords; Graduates; Skills; Employability

*Corresponding Author.

1.0 INTRODUCTION
Entrepreneurship development hold the promise for developing countries quest for economic growth in the globalized world. Small and big organizations including multinationals, which every economy depend on, started off as an entrepreneurial idea or initiative. Economic development within the context of developed or developing countries like Nigeria must nourish itself through related issues of entrepreneurship, as a function of an enabling environment.(Emmanuel, 2008)
Entrepreneurship and economic development in Nigeria rest on the tripod of an entrepreneurial enabling environment, a sound entrepreneurial culture and education that promotes and sustain entrepreneurial undertakings. This involves the acquisition of skills and competences.
The importance of sound entrepreneurial education based on functional research and development cannot be overemphasized. In most industrialized countries, policy makers and educational planners have seen entrepreneurial education as one of the drivers of entrepreneurship and economic development. Many universities and other institutions of higher learning in other parts of the world serves as incubators for entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurial education emphasizes the acquisition of certain skills which centre around the concept of innovation and creative process, financing, control, opportunity identification, venture, evaluation and deal making. The encouragement to start a venture can further be stimulated by institutions and teachers, who can significantly influence individuals to regard entrepreneurship as a desirable and viable career path. Schools with exciting courses and capacity development centre in entrepreneurship development tend to create the enabling entrepreneurship environment.
Proctor and Dutta (1995) define skill as “goal- directed, well-organized behavior that is acquired through practice and performed with economy of effort” while Boon and Vander klick (2002) describes competence as a “fuzzy concept” and acknowledge it as a useful term, bridging the gap between education and job requirements. The availability of persons with required skills and competences is a necessity for development. The training of such human resources is the major function that the Polytechnic system of education is meant to perform. For example, the Act establishing. Polytechnics in Nigeria in its Section 2 (a) state that: The functions of each Polytechnic shall be:

(a) To provide full time or part time courses of instructive and training in,
(i) Technology, Applied Science, Commence and Management.

(ii) In such other fields as applied learning relevant to the needs and
development of Nigeria in the areas of industrial and agricultural
production and distribution and for research in the development and
adaptation of techniques…………

Put succinctly, the Polytechnics by their mode of training are meant to produce graduates who will be relevant to the industry, but should also be capable of establishing, themselves in their own productive ventures and creating jobs for others. To further reinforce this mandate, the Federal Government of Nigeria through it Education ministry made entrepreneurship development study a compulsory course requisite for graduation. However, years after the introduction of the programmes, our educational system still produce graduates who lack basic entrepreneur skills to innovate existing process or idea. The question now is whether the Polytechnic system is meeting up with this challenge of training manpower capable of applying their learning to the relevant Nigerian’s development in the areas of industrial, technological and agricultural production and distribution? Finding answers to this question through the evaluation of centre for entrepreneurship development (CEDAP) programme is the object of this paper.

2.0 AIM AND OBJECTIVES.
This study focuses on the evaluation of the impact of CEDAP Auchi Polytechnic entrepreneurship programme on student competency and skill acquisition.
The objectives of the study include:-

(a). The determination of students aptitude for entrepreneurship.
(b). Evaluate students perception of the CEDAP training and resources.
(c). The constraint of the programme in achieving the desired training and impartation.

3.0 METHODOLOGY AND ANALYSIS

This study adopted a survey based approach to elicit data through questionnaire administration from the graduating (HND 11) students of the 2009/2010 academic session. The sample carried the two major programme of the school (full and part time studies) across departments. In all, 250 students were randomly sampled from the student records data base. The student were sourced, identified and given questionnaires to fill and return through their respective coordinators. These questionnaires were collated and analyzed. Focused group discussion was used to gain insight further on the students’ perception of the programme. The analyzed data are hereunder stated and discussed.

4.0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS.

One of the key virtues of focusing knowledge, skills and competences, is that these relates to learning outcomes or outputs, irrespective of the routes of acquisition involved rather than learning outputs (Winterton J. et al, 2005). Results and discussions presents data collected and carries out an indebt analysis for meaningful, conclusion to be drawn out. The responses from the field form the basis of the analysis and discussions and these are done under the following sub-heads.

(a) Choice of courses and the roles of Entrepreneurship studies:

The choice of courses by students has a relationship with the roles of entrepreneurship studies (Toby, 2008). If students were well guided abinitio, it would have been possible to tailor their career choices along with entrepreneurship skills and competences . However, entrepreneurship studies have now become a must via a presidential directive irrespective of the course of study. (Jimah, 2010). The choice of course of study of the student interviewed is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: CHOICE OF COURSES OF STUDY

Motivation No. of Respondents %
Self’s wish 230 92.0
Parents wish 10 4.0
As a last resort 10 4.0
Others Nil -
Total 250 100%
Source: Field survey, 2010

From table one, it is clear that the choice of career or field of study is mostly attributed to the wish of individual students with 230 students out of 250 interviewed or 92% saying so. Further from table 2, responses indicate that all the students do agree that Entrepreneurship studies have sharpened their skills for businesses.

Table 2; DOES ENTREPRENEURSHIP STUDIES SHARPEN SKILLS FOR
BUSINESSES?
Response No %
Yes 250 100
No Nil -
Total 250 100%
Source: Field survey 2010

Also from table 3, all the students interviewed agree that the introduction of Entrepreneurship studies (EED) into the curriculum have been good and beneficial.

Table 3; IS EED INTRODUCTION ANY GOOD?
Response No %
Yes 250 100
No Nil -
Total 250 100%
Source: Field survey, 2010

It suffice to conclude therefore, that through, most student look to their career choices themselves, they agree that the course have be beneficial

(b) Impact of EED on students:-

At this point, the impact Entrepreneurship studies and how well knowledge is imparted is looked at. From tables 4 and 5, responses got from students as to how they assimilate what they are taught and how well their practical projects which is a core area is carried out are shown.

Table 4: TEACHING OF THE SUBJECT

Response No. %
Well Taught 250 100
Not well taught Nil 00
Total 250 100%
Source: Field survey, 2010

Table 5: ARE PRACTICAL EXERCISES WELL GUIDED?

Response No. %
Yes 30 12.00
No 220 88.00
Total 250 100%
Source: Field survey, 2010

From Table 4, all the students interviewed agree that the subject is well taught although, 220 students representing 88% state clearly that the practical exercises are not well guided as shown in Table 5. The impact of the subject though good, the practical areas need improvement they argue.

(c) Adequacy of skills and competences imparted.

The final expectation of learning is that the students understand fully what they have been taught and put it to use so as to improve their lives and sharpen their skills to be self-reliant and fulfilled (Toby ,2008). To achieve this, one must look the adequacy of the tools for practicals, consumables allocated and even the time given for such practicals as the mastering and production of a product is the ultimate goal of the practicals exercises in entrepreneurship studies. These are shown in Tables 6, 7 and 8.

Table 6: ADEQUACY OF TIME FOR PRACTICALS

Response No %
Time is Adequate Nil 00
Time is inadequate 250 100%
Total 250 100%
Source: Field survey, 2010

Table 7: ADEQUACY OF CONSUMABLES FOR PRACTICALS

Response No. %
Adequate Nil 00
In-adequate 250 100
Total 250 100%
Source: Field survey 2010

Table 8: ADEQUACY OF TOOLS FOR PRACTICALS

Response No %
Adequacy Nil 00
In -adequate 250 100
Total 250 100%
Source: Field survey 2010

From Tables 6, 7 and 8, it is clear that the time given for practicals, the consumables allocated and the tools for such practicals are all inadequate in Auchi Polytechnic. According to Emmanuel (2008), the success of entrepreneurship practical project is a function of the adequacy of time, tools and materials allocated for it. A reason that can be adduced for this shortcoming is the fact that until recently according to Oladepo, (1990) our educational policies and training programme in this country, have not been properly tailored to address the needs of our economy as graduates lack the required skills and knowledge to fit into the computer world of today .Collaborating this, TWG (2004) stated that , the objectives of a learning pathway are expressed as learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skill and competences to be acquired and mastered at a given reference level. There is need therefore to give this area a review.

(d) Types of projects:

The types of projects carried out by students as practicals fall into two main categories. These are production areas which include, fabrication, glass table/stools, palmoil, cake, cast Aluminum pots, tie and dye, soap making, rake doors, cement blocks, garri ,palm slippers etc. and service areas like barbers saloon, welding, fashion design, repair of handsets, fast foods etc. According to Hisrich, et al (2008), entrepreneurship is the process of creating something new with value by devoting necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychic and social risks and receiving rewards for monetary and personal satisfaction and independence. Anything new therefore including services is entrepreneurship (Jimah 2010)

From Table 9, it is clear that students in production areas for exceed those in the service area.

Table 9: PRACTICAL AREAS BY STUDENTS

Practical Areas No. %
Production 202 80.80
Service 48 19.20
Both Nil 00
Total 250 100%
Source: Field survey, 2010

From table 9, 202 persons or 80.80% are in the production area while 48 or 19.20% are in the service areas.

5.0 RECOMMENDATIONS.

Having analyzed and discussed the findings, it is imperative that some recommendations are suggested to address some of the challenges discovered in the skill and acquisition process . The following are suggested.
(a) There is absolute and urgent need to establish practical workshops, laboratories and practical training units in line with various practical products taught.
(b) Competent resource persons should be employed to main the various practicals units establish and these units should be maintained efficiently.
(c) Students should be given adequate consumables to meet the needs of their practical products. Students should be allowed to participate in the procurement of consumables, know their costs as this will help in fixing of product prices during sales of finished products which they should be part of, to complete the entrepreneurship process.
(d) Time allowed for practicals in skill and competency acquisition should not only be enough ,it should be explicit and uniform in all tertiary institutions while grading of finishing products should follow a drawn format all over.
(e) Practical tools should be provided for various product units to enhance quality production and help students work within the approved time frame.

6.0 CONCLUSION:

Skills and competence acquisition has been discovered to be a sin-qua-non not only to the development of the individual to be self-reliant and fulfilled but also a necessity to national development. The paper discussed the acquisition of skills and competence through practical projects of CEDAP. It highlighted the challenges in the process and proffered practical and urgent solutions to address these challenges. It is hoped that the recommendations will be implemented systematically to give the desired results of developing the individuals who will be engaged profitably but also the country at large and help in the reduction of anti-social behaviors currently ravaging the Nigerian state.

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Academy of Human Resource Development Annual Conference, Honlulu, HA
27 February-3 march, proceeding vo.1. 327-334.

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Hisrich R.D; Peters M.P; and Shepherd D.A. (2008). Entrepreneurship.
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Nigeria tertiary Institutions” A case study of Cedap, Auchi Polytechnic
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Polytechnic, Nigeria 26th-29th April, 2010.

Oladepo S.A. (1990). “Promotion of Employment in contemporally Nigeria:
The role of vocational Education ‘ Journal of Business Education vol.2 No.2

Proctor, R.W and Dutta A (1995) skill acquisition and Human performance. London
sage.

Toby T.U. (2008) Instructional system design and methods in Education. New
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TWG (2004) Interim Report of the Technical Working group, UK central council
for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting. A Higher Level of practice-
pilot standard, London; Ukcc @ http://www.nme-uk org/nmc/main/home/hlp
pilot competences. Doc. Last visited on the 26th October, 2010.

Winterton .J.; Delamare- le Desit F.; Stringfellow, E. (2005). Typology of
knowledge, skills and competences: Clarification of the concept and
prototype. Cedefop project No. RP/B/BS/credit transfer/005/04. London.
CEDEFOP

Selecting Appropraite Teaching Strategy For Entrepreneurship Development

SELECTING APPROPRIATE TEACHING STRATEGY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP STUDIES IN NIGERIAN SCHOOLS

BY

MRS JIMAH K.Q

AUCHI POLYTECHNIC AUCHI, EDO STATE.

ABSTRACT
The rate of development of any nation is critical to the economic survival and vibrancy of that nation. This fact cannot be divorced from the level of economic empowerment of the inhabitants of that nation. This assertion is closely linked to situations where people are gainfully employed or have the capacity to be employed. But when unemployment levels are hitting the ceiling, then the situation described above becomes a fairy tale. This is the Nigerian situation where unemployment have not only climbed beyond imaginable proportions but have become a national threat. Nigeria with her abundant natural and human resources is blessed with several schools that churn out graduates daily into the choking labour market to compete with school dropouts and other unskilled persons. A cursory look at the scenario reveals that appropriate academic curriculum and practical skills have not been imparted into these graduates to enable function profitably and satisfactorily in the society. Thus to reduce the rate of job seekers entering out unemployment market, selecting appropriate teaching strategies in our schools that will combine theory, entrepreneurship education and practical employability skills have become the most potent elixir. This paper looks at how teaching methods, associated teacher style and effectiveness of his instruction has brought out the inherent skills in students and develop their entrepreneurial skills using practical projects to become self-employed and employers of labour after graduating. It presents how recorded learning experiences of students from one stage to another can help in sharpening their skills over time and guiding them on the right choices. Finally, the recommendations proffered amongst others, is that practical lessons should be spelt out distinctively in the entrepreneurship curriculum and all facilitators in the programmes should first be given practical training in various areas, adhere strictly to various strategies and capitalize fully on the unique properties of the current strategies used in teaching entrepreneurship development in various schools. It is hoped that these teaching methods and strategies will take the understanding and practice of entrepreneurship ideas to higher levels and equip students with a wide range of skills required to meet the standard of employers of labour and industry if not self employed. This will no doubt reduce our high unemployment levels to manageable proportions.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Teaching; Graduates.

1.0 INTRODUCTION
Education has from cradle been recognized as a veritable means of progress and well being of Nations and individuals (Ekpenyong, 2008). This is why nations after nations have progressively reviewed their system of education with a view of bringing about speedy national development since a country’s level of social – economic development is generally linked with the type of educational philosophy or system in operation. However, since education in Nigeria, as elsewhere, does not only stand out as an instrument of national wealth and development but also signifies to the individual Nigerian an important vehicle of upward social and political mobility as well as economic comfort. Hence the search for a really pragmatic system like is Entrepreneurship education is required. one outstanding result of such a search is the promotion of Entrepreneurship through appropriate teaching strategies in Nigeria schools, because creating and providing gainful employment for a teaming population of unemployed and under-employed Nigerians is a daunting task (Ekpenyong, 2008).

2.0 THE NECESSITY FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA SCHOOLS.
Today, we live in a world of rapidly accelerating change brought about by the application of science and technology to almost every aspect of our every day life. After some periods of gradual and placid evolution, however, the traditional practices in the educational processes are gradually changing. Progress, which of course has been slow, is now accelerating, to such an extent that the economy built around the small family farms in the last century and the automobile in the present century, is now being built around Entrepreneurial Education in an effort to spearhead the constant war against unemployment, hunger, boredom, poverty, ignorance (Toby 2008).
Entrepreneurship development is to present a well researched information, appropriate knowledge and skills on the concept and practice of entrepreneurship. It will help to develop the learners mind, promote, innovate and enhance creative enterprise characteristics and the capacity for further learning.
Entrepreneurship education has inevitably, become recognized as a major solution to check unemployment. Entrepreneurship education is designed for learning and it can only be operated effectively and in an efficient manner when human performance has been brought up to and maintained at a peak level of mastery.
We tend to forget that the real essence of any form of education is learner – learning and not teacher – teaching. We, somehow, tend to create a mystical position for the teacher in the educational process (Davis,1993), and neglect individual students desire and capacity to create, discover, and learn for himself. The teacher should ensure that the students accept responsibility for their own learning by developing in them a taste and enthusiasm for it as recently canvassed by Commonwealth of learning initiatives 2010.
Entrepreneurship education at whatever level should aim at:
a) Developing individuals who will be properly equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills for productive work life;
b) Developing individuals who will be capable of meeting the modern technological challenges;
c) Developing in the youths the right attitudes and skills towards work;
b) Equipping the individual with the requisite knowledge and skills for paid or self-employment.
e) Enable the individual to develops skills for making rational economic decisions, either as producers or consumers;
f) preparing business and industrial managers who will be capable of meeting technological and managerial complexities of modern industry etc. (Ekpenyong, 2008). It should be noted that as employment opportunities shrinks, the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills for self-employment becomes major imperatives in our schools which should be pursued vigorously.

3.0 THEORIES/TEACHING STYLES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP STUDIES.
Entrepreneurship development is to present a well researched information, appropriate knowledge and skills on the concept and practice of entrepreneurship. There are many techniques, styles and theories that can be used in presenting such information and for transmitting skills, although not all of them are effective in reaching instructional goal but there are bases on which intelligent choices can be made.
Theories and teaching styles or methods forms the basis upon which the research on the study of entrepreneurship is anchored, (Chinoye 2008). Theories determine the factors that influence the behavior, performance of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs behavior is largely influenced by some fundamental factors such as innovation, structure of organization, training and development and working experience etc. All these factors that influence the emergence and performance of entrepreneurs have their anchor on the theories and teaching styles of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs behave differently due to the complexity of the factors that affect their behavior.
There are so many theories of Entrepreneurship but we will look at how theories X and Y by McGregor (1960) can be used by the teacher as a force to inspire the students to generate idea(s) and energizes him to pursue the idea until it become a reality. McGregor (1960) distinguishes between two broad assumptions that managers traditionally make, and labels these with the non-emotive titles of theory X and theory Y.

Theory X Theory Y
The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if he can

Because of this human characteristic of dislike of work, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort toward the achievement of organizational objectives

The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition, wants security above all. The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest.

External control and the threat of punishment are not the only means for bringing about efforts towards organizational objectives. Man will exercise self-direction and self control in the service of objectives to which he is committed.

Commitment to objectives a function of the rewards associated with their achievement the average human being leaving under proper conditions, not only to accept, bit to seek responsibility. The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity, and creativity in the solution of organizational problems is widely, not narrowly distributed in the population under this conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentials of the average human being are only partially utilized.

A Summary of the Underlying Assumptions Behind Theory X and Theory Y
Source: Davies (1993) as Reproduced from McGregor (1960) The human side of enterprise: New York: McGraw-Hill.

It will be seen that while theory X is traditional and autocratic in character, theory Y is essentially progressive and participative. On the surface, however, the distinction between the two sets of assumptions is seemingly very simple, but the reasoning behind the distinction is subtle. The two theories are essentially statements of how one person’s influence on another persons behaviour is believed to take place. Since our behaviour as teachers is usually consistent with the assumptions we make about students, the teaching style we tend to adopt will broadly indicate our philosophy. This is especially important because of what McGregor (1960) calls the “self-fulfilling prophecy”.
It has been argued that when we make assumptions about our students, they will often tend to behave in a way that is consistent with this assumptions (Flanders, 1994). In other words, they fulfill the prophecies we make about them. Students who we regard as irresponsible do us the courtesy of behaving irresponsible, students who are viewed as failures, behave as failures. The self-fulfilling prophesy also works in the opposite direction. For example, students who are regarded as able, mature, responsible, and successful often behave in a way as to vindicate our prediction. Because of this reason, we can safely say that teaching style is matter of great importance in the learning processes. It has also be shown that teachers style affects the very environment in which students learn (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1998).

3.1 Analysis and Application.
(i) Theory X.
An Entrepreneurship facilitator – teacher who adopts a teacher style consistent with the assumptions of theory x will be more concerned with his students’ behavior as it is, then with growth and development. Such a teacher or facilitator regards the capacities of students as largely static, un-improvable, and not very impressive. Usually, a theory x facilitator or teacher will seek to compensate for students weakness and deficiencies by adopting one or two teaching styles based on a stick or pepper approach to motivation. The approach could be soft or hard.
a. A hard approach – This involves coercing students to learn by using teaching strategies that are essentially autocratic and teacher – centred. These will enable the teacher to discipline, control, punish, threaten, and cajole students, as well as to exercise constant surveillance over their work.
b. A soft approach – This involves coaxing students to learn by using teaching strategies that are essentially permissive and students – centred. These will enable the teacher to reward, praise, blame, love as well as to ensure that students initiatives is not stiffed (Toby, 2008).
Coercing a students to learn, however, will tend to lead resistance, apathy, and minimum effort, coaxing a student to learn may well lead to comfortable relationships during learning process. These approaches are based on the assumptions that students dislike and will avoid learning and must, therefore be manipulated, controlled, or conditioned in order to get them to invest the necessary effort.
(ii) Theory Y
An Entrepreneurship facilitator – teacher who adopts a teaching style consistent with theory y will be less concerned with the abilities of students as they are, and more concerned with their potentialities for growth and development. They are rather looking at students as a “given” in the learning process, they are seen as a variable which has to be considered and nurtured. Theory y seeks to exploit the limits of human capacity, and consequently, any entrepreneurship facilitator – teacher who adopts this style of instructional leadership is constantly involved in change and innovation. As we know, there is no one way of operating, no one methodology that is optimal for all objectives, all tasks and all students as far as theory y is concerned.
A teacher who function under theory y is sometimes misrepresented as a person who believes that students will work harder if they are left to their own devices, rather than firmly led. Studies have shown this as naïve as it is untrue. Under the right conditions, many people will find sufficient satisfaction in their work, they will invest more effort than if they are coerced or coaxed (see Table of Theory y and x assumptions). The entrepreneurship facilitator – teacher have to set up the right conditions for this to happen and has to exercise a great skill, experience, and sensitivity. Although, it is not so easy to structure a learning situation so that students will have a sense of personal achievement and personal growth, but student motivation can be harnessed by enriching the learning experience as this will help in the development of entrepreneurship.

4.0 CHOOSING AN APPROPRIATE TEACHING STRATEGY.
David (1995), in the process of defining strategy, established that strategies are not developed abstractly, but formed “based on the ability of an organization to identify its internal strengths and weaknesses, external opportunities and threats while establishing its missions, setting its objectives, and analyzing those alternatives to decide which one execute. Choosing an appropriate teaching strategy will therefore be a matter of facilitator – teacher effectiveness. Fortunately, effectiveness can be learnt. This involve leaning how to manage five talents: managing time, choosing what to contribute, knowing where and how to apply your strength to the best effect, setting up the right priorities and, then, knitting all these together by making effective decisions (Toby, 2008). When an entrepreneurship facilitator – teacher decides upon a particular teaching strategy, all these points should have been considered. There are time when the facilitator – teacher could do the job more quickly himself by lecturing than by students working independently. The problem is to decide when he should give them the information they requires, and when he should leave them to discover that information for themselves.
David (1995) identified three basic criteria that can be used by facilitators – teacher in order to choose the appropriate teaching strategy.
1. The nature of the learning objective to be realized
2. The need to enrich the learning experiences, so as to harness intrinsic as well as extrinsic motivation.
3. The ability of the students involved in the task.
The actual decision as to which strategy should be employed is a function for the interaction of these variables. Great skill and expertise is needed to balance one requirement against the other, but as Davis (1993) argues, the essential difference between theory x facilitator – teacher and theory y facilitator – teacher is to be found in this process.

5.0 NEED TO ENRICH LEARNING EXPERIENCE.
Entrepreneurship development in schools involves the enrichment of learning experiences so as to make it worth while and interesting. This is best accomplished by ensuring that the teaching strategy employed allows students to experience feelings of achievement, recognition, responsibility, and personal growth. The teaching strategies most likely to realize these objectives are permissive rather than autocratic in style. However, we should not believe that students unused and ill – prepared for permissive strategies would necessarily benefit from them (Feldman, 1990)
The situation depends, however upon the relationship between each teaching method or style and the degree of control a facilitator – teacher or students can expect to exercise. For example, the tutorial method can be used in either on autocratic or a permissive mode. Teaching strategies can be classified under the following headings:
1. Autocratic styles include
a. Lectures
b. Demonstrations
c. Tutorials
d. Programmed learning
2. Permissive styles includes:
a. Tutorials
b. Group discussions
c. Brain storming
d. Computer – assisted instruction
e. Independent study etc. (Toby, 2008)
Research findings into teaching styles/methods in Toby (2008) shows that there is important interaction between student ability and optimal teaching strategy. It would, therefore, seem that:
1. Very able students prefers, and appear to benefit from, more permissive teaching strategies that are less group or individual oriented.
2. Able students prefer, and appear to benefit from, more permissive teaching strategies.
3. Less able students prefer, and appear to benefit from, more autocratic teaching strategies.
What a student prefers may not necessarily be what is best for him in the long – term, however, regardless of the teaching strategy utilized, textbooks and other reading materials provide a common link between different teaching styles (Pringle and McKenzie, 1995).

6.0 THE NEED FOR EVALUATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN SCHOOLS.
As defined by Toby (2008) evaluation is the clarification of the course standards, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data which will provide information to compare the standards against performance. In other words, evaluation is the process of agreeing upon instructional objectives, determining whether a discrepancy exists between some aspects of the instruction, and using the discrepancy information to identify the weakness of the learning instruction.
From the above definition, one can actually see that there are many cogent reasons, other than fashion, for the present importance of evaluation. Evaluation enable us to:
a. Measure the competence or capability of students in terms of whether or not they have realized their agreed objectives.
b. Determine which particular objectives have not been realized, so that appropriate remedial action can be taken.
c. Decides the relative ranking of students, in terms of success in realizing the agreed objectives.
d. Inform the teacher – facilitator of entrepreneurship of the appropriateness of his teaching strategy, so that the strengths and weaknesses of the instruction can be determined.
e. Devise procedures so as to improve course design, and determine whether or not additional learning resources are necessary
Evaluation will enable the entrepreneurship facilitators – teachers to exercise their managerial control function, in the sense that it feeds back to them control information regarding the appropriateness of their organization of learning resources.

7.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In any normal situation, a student is expected to perform at least on average and where a student falls below average it causes a lot of concern. Teaching though, is not easy, it is a highly complex and professional activity. For very simple reason that, while there may be no comfortable and direct relationship between teaching and learning, there is direct relationship between teaching, motivation, and learning outcomes, and since the teacher – entrepreneurship facilitator is largely responsible for the effectiveness of his instruction and of his individual students, the leadership style he adopts will have a great deal to do with the ultimate success that his students experience in learning. An Entrepreneurship facilitator – teacher, therefore has a responsibility to ensure that he selects those teaching strategies that are likely to be effective, otherwise, he will not get the right thing done. The entrepreneurship teacher – facilitator should pick those strategies most relevant to the type of performance involved, and then, make final selection on the basis of availability and probable use. In doing the selection, the following procedures should be involved in order to achieve the effectiveness of selecting appropriate teaching strategies for the development of entrepreneurship in schools.
The procedures are:
a. Identify the type of performance desired (clear objectives).
b. Identify those strategies most relevant to the desired performance and
c. Select those procedure (teaching styles) that are most practical from among those that are appropriate.
If all these are implemented, it will help to acquaint students with career option of being an employer (an entrepreneur) whether they become sole proprietors, owners of franchised business, or partners in small enterprises, it will assist students in developing basic entrepreneurial skills and help them understand the basis about the economic system and free enterprise system, which depends on private rather than public investment .
Finally, practical lessons should be spelt out distinctively in the entrepreneurship curriculum and all facilitators in the programme should first be given practical lessons in various areas and adhere strictly to various strategies and capitalize fully on the unique properties of the current strategies used in teaching entrepreneurship development in schools.

REFERENCES
Chinoye, L.E (2008). Entrepreneurship: A Conceptual Approach (2nd
ed), Lagos: concept Publications Limited.

David, F.R. (1995). Strategic Management. New York: Macmillan
Publishing Company.

Davis, I.K. (1993). Competency Based Learning: Technology and
Management Design. New York: McGraw –Hill Book Company.

Ekpenyong, L.E. (2008). Foundations of vocational Education: New
Directions and Approaches, Benin City: Supreme Ideas Publishers Ltd.

Feldman, D.H. (1990). Effects of Computer – assisted Instruction on
Children’s Behaviour. Educational Technology, vol. 10 No.3, pp 11-14

Flanders, N.A. (1994). Some Relationship Among Teacher Influence,
Pupil Attitudes and Achievement. A contemporary Research on Teacher Effectiveness: New York: Haut, Rinehart and Winston, pp. 198 – 231

Pringle, M.I. and Mckenzie, I.R. (1995). Teaching Methods and
Rigidity in Problem Solving, British Journal of Education of Educational Psychology, vol.35, No1, pp. 50 – 59.

Rosenthal, R. and Jacobson, L. (1998). Pygmalion in the classroom,
New York: Halt and Winston.

Toby, T.U. (2008). Instructional System Design and Methods in
Education. New Jessy: F.B.I. International Publishers Petrocelli: Books Inc.

INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO STUDENTS

INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO STUDENTS’ ENTREPRENEURIAL OUTPUTS IN NIGERIAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS:
A CASE STUDY OF CEDAP, AUCHI POLYTECHNIC AUCHI.

BY

TPL. M. S. JIMAH MNITP, RTP, ACE

DIRECTOR
CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT (CEDAP)
AUCHI POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI

AT

CAPA INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON “ENTREPRENEURIAL POLYTECHNIC”
HELD IN ABUJA, NIGERIA ON THE 26TH – 29TH APRIL, 2010

INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO STUDENTS’ ENTREPRENEURIAL OUTPUTS IN NIGERIAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS: A CASE STUDY OF CEDAP, AUCHI POLYTECHNIC AUCHI.

TPL. M.S. Jimah
Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi,
Edo State, Nigeria.
jimahSunny@yahoo.com
+234 803 447 8785

ABSTRACT

The problem of unemployment and wealth creation is acute in Nigeria. The situation is due partly to the increasing number of graduates with low employability skills and few employment opportunities in the formal labour market. This paper presents how CEDAP in Auchi Polytechnic in Nigeria built institutional capacity to impart employability and entrepreneurial skills to students, in collaboration with informal business enterprises. It shows how the initiative has created wealth and resources for the institution through emphasis on local content utilized production. In a semester of the 2008/2009 academic session, production activities by students through CEDAP generated revenue for the Polytechnic to the tune of over nine hundred thousand naira (N900,000). Finally, the paper offers some suggestions on improving the performance of the initiative.

Key words: employability skills; wealth creation; entrepreneurship.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Endowed with abundant natural and human resources, Nigeria ranked as the most populous country in sub-Saharan African providing over one third of Africans global market. Despite this economic potentials which is capable of transforming the country into a vibrant industrial economy, global, continental and regional comparative analysis of development indices indicates that Nigeria still lags behind many countries which can not boast of some of the resources we have.

The oil boom of the 70’s which should have been a landing pad for the rapid and sustainable industrial and economic growth failed to yield the desired result because of the small linkage efforts. The crisis that followed the collapse of the oil boom and the economic crunch of the 80’s further demonstrated the fragile nature of the nation’s economy and generally exposed our weak industrial base. To revamp the situation the country adopted the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) Natural Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) with its sub-schemes of Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), Rural Infrastructure Development Scheme, Social Welfare Services Scheme (SOWESS), and Natural Resources Development and Conservation Scheme (NRDCS) amongst others as macro-economic reform packages to re-engineer the economy and provide self employment nest for the vast unemployment people of the country.

However, these reforms are yet to yield the expected results as the survey conducted by the Federal Ministry of Education recently showed a disturbing trend that over 60% of graduates are unemployed or under – employed. A major reason for this development is the lack of focus on entrepreneurial skills development as well as a dysfunction between the interest of these graduate, their experiences and skills on the one hand and their career choices on the other with significant implications on their employability. In Ajagu (2005) words, the pursuit of entrepreneurship ideals in Nigeria is near absent and in some cases all we have is paying mere lip service rather than embark on real action. In line with the same argument, Oladebo (1990) stated that it was not until recently, our education policies and training programmes in this country, have not been properly tailored to address the needs of our economy hence schools produce “Misfits” who find it difficult to secure jobs because they lack the required skills and knowledge to fit into the computer world of today.

There is therefore a need to develop and manage our nation’s human resources through a mechanism that ensures effective career planning, realignment of Curriculum to labour market needs and creation of linkages to employment opportunities via polytechnic career centres. The training of such human resources is a major function that the polytechnic system of education is meant to perform by virtue of section 2(a) of the Act establishing Polytechnics in Nigeria. Thus, Polytechnics are established to train middle level manpower equipped with skills and capability of creating jobs for themselves. The Polytechnics by their mode of training are meant to produce graduates who will not only be relevant to the industry, but should also be capable of their own productive ventures and creating jobs for others.

One of the courses taught in Auchi Polytechnic and some other tertiary institutions to bring about the foregoing realisation is entrepreneurship development organised by the centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CEDAP). The aim o this paper is therefore to highlight how the centre’s initiatives in the impartation of employability skills in students for wealth creation through the use of locally sourced materials for productions has rake internally generated revenue for the Polytechnic to over N900,000 in the 2nd semester of 2008/2009 session. It also proffers suggestions on better performances such as patenting the product to meet the demand and supply chain between the centre and consumers.

2.0 THE ESTABLISHMENT AND STRUCTURE OF CEDAP, AUCHI POLYTECHNIC

(a) The Establishment of CEDAP:

The centre for entrepreneurship development (CEDAP) was established in Auchi Polytechnic sometime in 2007 via a presidential initiative. The presidency after several consultations and discussions with stakeholders and the international community realised that the surest way to reduce our ever expanding labour market is to impact entrepreneurial skills into our students such that after graduation, they will not only fend for themselves but others by becoming employer of labour in their new businesses they will set up. In Ajagu (2005) submission, entrepreneurship study is a sin-qua non to national development, poverty eradication and employment generation.

Auchi Polytechnic, has tailored the programmes of the centre to fufil this mandate to the letter. I dare say that our students can compete or even beat some business concerns when their products are exhibited but unfortunately, consumers wait patiently for their products to be finished each semester and rush for them. Otherwise, it would have been a pleasure to display some of our students products at this workshop. In other words the mandate to impact entrepreneurial skills in our students from the first year until they graduate and expose them to the product practicals has been completely fulfilled in Auchi Polytechnic.

(b) The Organisational Structure of CEDAP

Cedap as a centre is currently headed by a director who is directly responsible to the Rector. All activities of Cedap are approved by Management before they are carried out. The director is assisted by a deputy director. There are eight co-ordinators in the centre who takes instruction from the director. They are also assistant Examination co-ordinators under an Examination co-ordinator and facilitators who are lecturers in the programme. An essential criteria for appointing them as facilitators is that they possess some practical skills for the production of products.

ORGANOGRAM OF CEDAP, AUCHI POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI

RECTOR

DIRECTOR

Deputy Cedap Training Exam Prodn Consultancy/ Research Information Sales/Service
Director Accountant Co-ord Co-ord Co-ord Extension Co-ord Co-ord Co-ord
Co-ord
Secretary Assist Exam Sales
Facilitators Co-ords for Committee Monitor Each School
Product Lectures Committee Co-ord

Admin Officers Monitor
Committee

Support Staff

In all the Centre currently has over 60 facilitators under the close supervision of the deputy Director. The co-ordinator for Examination is assisted by six (6) assistant Examination co-ordinators, one for each school. This is to ensure that the high standard of learning and keeping with the tenants of good examination conduct which Auchi Polytechnic is known for, the world over is maintained and sustained. The co-ordinators for production, sales and lectures also have committees chosen from among facilitators to assist them in their various assignments.

Periodic reports are sent to the director on all areas who in turn send same to the Rector. So at every point the Rector and management are in the know of happenings at the centre.

3.0 STRATEGIES FOR SKILL IMPACTATION

In Auchi Polytechnic, entrepreneurial development studies are taught from ND1 up to HND II. Using the KAB modules and course syllabus which were guides provided for the programme at take off, the centre developed books to aid students at every stage of learning. Thus there are four books viz; for NDI Introduction to Entrepreneurship, for NDII Practice of Entrepreneur; for HNDI Elements of Entrepreneurship Development and for HND II Entrepreneurship development. The textbooks are reviewed periodically to be abreast with new challenges and information. While the facilitators have their own guide, copies of the centre’s textbooks are availed them to enable them guide the students properly.

While lectures are on-going, practical lessons are given side by side. In the practical assignments, the students are grouped into groups of ten to fifteen students each. They are expected to launch fully into practices at the full completion of theoretical course modules. Each group brings up or identify a product or project under the guide of a facilitator which a committee approves in line with available funds. The students then go about the actual projects which must reflect over ninety percent (90%) local content. This is with the intent of making the student entrepreneur depend on locally available raw materials, instead of waiting or depending on foreign served materials.

To ensure that production approximate market and industrial demand and standards, CEDAP works with a network of private sector entrepreneurs whose practical skills and wealth of knowledge are tapped by inviting them periodically to supervise, correct and teach the students the basic essentials in the production process. These private sector entrepreneurs are regarded as external resource persons and are paid stipends for such impactation by the Polytechnic. To create incentives for students to put in their best, such productions are amended with grades and certificate of best production is amended to the best production team and its supervisor. Through this process the requisite employability skill required in the labour market and industry are impacted for self-reliance. Below is a list of some production areas where our students have shown their skills. The list is not exhaustive.

- Fabrication. - Fish pounds
- Glass tables/stools - Grass cuttery
- Palmoil - Inverters
- Cake - Palm slippers
- Cast Aluminium pots - Curtains
- Key Holders - Bedsheets/Pillow cases
- Tie and Dye - Foam
- Paint making - Insecticides
- Bar Soap - Air Fresheners
- Soda Soap - Izal
- Rake - Shoe polish
- Book shelves - Tables and Chairs
- Doors - Note Books
- Cement blocks - Brooms
- Garri - C.D Rake
- Interlocking tiles

Due to time constraints, I have listed only a few. But it suffice to point out here that, entrepreneurial skills are not limited to the production of items alone as our students are equally taught some service areas of investments like, barber’s saloon, welding, fashion design, repair of handset, and fast foods. This was emphasised by Hisrich, et al (2008) when they insisted that entrepreneurship is the process of creating something new with value by devoting necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychic and social risks and receiving rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction and independence. Anything new therefore including services is entrepreneurship.

4.0 PRODUCT MARKETING AND ACCOUNTING

All products produced by the students are submitted through their facilitators to the co-ordinator of production and are assembled at the centre’s exhibition centre. Thereafter a date is fixed for the exhibition and auctioning of the products after necessary approvals have been sought and got. The general public is informed of this date and exhibition and display of the products commences. This is usually for a week. The actual sales commence as soon as the exhibition ends. The production co-ordinator formally hands all products over to the co-ordinator, sales and service and his sales committee at this point and Cedap accountant armed with the necessary invoices and receipts is properly positioned to receive the monies realised are paid into the school accounts, thus creating wealth for the school through the students entrepreneurial output. This accounting procedure is put in place to ensure transparency and accountability of transaction and sales.

In the Second Semester of 2008/2009 Session the following products were sold to the public after completing all procedures from learning to the last stage of sales. This is for only ND I and HND I as other classes take the course in the 1st Semester.

(a) Palm Oil - N106,000
(b) Glass Tables/Stools - N42,000
(c) Fabrication - N48,600
(d) Tie and Dye - N66,400
(e) Cast Aluminium pots - N75,200
(f) Soda Soap - N12,000
(g) Note Books - N36,800
(h) Cement blocks - N45,000
(i) Book shelves - N38,000
(j) Inverters - N54,800
(k) Palm slippers - N18,000
(l) Bedsheets/Pillow cases - N30,000
(m) Tables and Chairs - N55,500
(n) Air Fresheners - N24,000
(o) Insecticides - N27,000
(p) Body Cream Coco-butter - N33,500
(q) Vaseline Jelly - N14,000
(r) Brooms - N4,500
(s) Palm Cannel Oil - N35,000
(t) Mortal and Pistil - N26,200
(u) Cupboards - N44,800
(v) Coal Pots - N18,000
(w) Others - N50,000
Total - N906,500

Although this figure cannot be said to be very handsome, it is income created from the entrepreneurial output of students and as time goes on, the figure is expected rise as we surmount new challenges.

5.0 LIMITATIONS

A major limitation to the quality and quantity of products by our students is finance. The cost of these products are very small and consequently the end product prices cannot be too high. This limit the margin of profit after sales. Another limitation is the Registration of products by the relevant National and International agencies so that such products will not be limited to our borders alone. The issue of getting finance to take off your own business after graduation is also a big problem that need to be tackled.

6.0 RECOMMENDATIONS

In line with the highlighted constraints and for better performance, the following recommendations are suggested.

1. Finance which is a major problem in the study and practice of entrepreneurship development should be tackled from all sides. The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency insert entrepreneurship development into their yearly budget and allocate enough funds to the various entrepreneurship centres for the study and practical lessons of the students. This will go a long way at improving the quality and quantity of products, produced by our students. This will also encourage facilitators to develop themselves in line with the dynamism of today and earn improved honorarium for the teaching of the course.
2. The Federal Government should come out with a clear blue print on how graduates can get funds to start the small business they have been taught otherwise the skill will not be put into use and the essence of the impactation will be defeated. It is not out of way to appoint designated Banks to give out the needed loans to graduates without “very strict” collaterals as the young graduates may not have the required ones if they were to ordinarily apply for loans.

3. There is the need to patent the products produced by these students so that the quality is not only assured but “invasion” by “others” is reduced to the barest minimum. This will encourage the students to be very serious, increase the quality and quantity of the products to meet the demand and supply chain between the centre and customers. This will definitely bring in higher revenue.

4. As a matter of fact, it is not out of place for a commission on entrepreneurship development to be set up by the Federal Government to monitor the funding and link the centres with National and International agencies. This will give such entrepreneurship development centres global outlook and co-operation between governments will be developed. This will in the long run reduce a lot of social vices and anti-social behaviour world wide as majority of people across the Globe who embrace this new idea will be gainfully employed and shun such vices.

5. It is also suggested that a policy be evolved nationally where students will be given a percentage of the profit after sales of their product to encourage them and where such is big, may help them take off on their own as soon as they graduate.

7.0 CONCLUSION

The events and narration of this write up are experience-based and factual. As a matter of fact, it is based on first hand information. Although the centre is very young and we are still coping with the initial challenges of setting up such a centre, it could be a money spinner and second to none in Auchi Polytechnic and other tertiary Institutions if very well nurtured and managed properly by all stakeholders. In the circumstances we had to operate, there is a lot of room for improvement particularly, as my Rector has not only given the centre a new specious and tastefully furnished accommodation, restructured the activities and running of the centre but has also injected a lot of funds for its continuous improvement to the next level. What now remains is for the study of the advanced suggestions and their systematic implementation by Government.

REFERENCES

Ajagu A. (2005), The Entrepreneur. Lagos Betcy Media

Hisrich R. D; Peters M. P. and Shepherd D. A. (2008) Entrepreneurship. Boston McGraw-Hill.

Oladebo S. A. (1990). “Promotion of Employment in Contemporary Nigeria: The role of Vocational Education”. Journal of Business Education Vol 2 No. 2.

ESTABLISHING SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISES: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS

ESTABLISHING SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISES: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS

TPL. DR. M.S JIMAH. Ph.D MNITP, RTP, FCE DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT, AUCHI POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI, EDO STATE, NIGERIA.

BEING A PAPER PRESENTED AT THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS OF NIGERIAN (ICAN) ZONAL CONFERENCE HELD IN JALINGO, TARABA STATE

MARCH 8TH – 11TH , 2011.

ABSTRACT
The role of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) cannot be overemphasized given its relevance’s in resource mobilization, utilization and overall contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) of a nation. It serves as the engine of rapid economic growth and development as it respond to the macro economic problems militating against developing nations like Nigeria. Therefore, this paper examines the meaning of SMEs) factors to be considered in establishing SMEs, problems of SMEs, importance of SMEs to the Nigeria economy, government past and present efforts torwards SMEs problems associated with government efforts. The paper concluded that if policy implementation is enhanced through efficient monitoring and period review as well as provision of infrastructure, the SMEs, will be empowered which could serve then as an engine of growth to the Nigeria economy.

1.0 Introduction
The role of small and medium scale industries in developing countries, Nigeria in particular in progressively becoming significant. Significant in the sense that all available resources in any given situation in the economic well-being of a nation must be developed for industrialization and ultimately consumption through the small and medium scale businesses. Hence, the impact and potential contribution of small and medium scale business on a broad and diverse base as well as their accelerated effect in achieving macro economic objectives pertaining to full employment, income distribution and the development of local technology, makes the existence most inevitable. Therefore, the importance of small and medium scale industries in particular to the general economic development of any nation especially a developing one like Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Hence, this paper titled establishing small and medium scale enterprises; problems and prospects cannot come at a better time.
2.0 Concept and Nature of SMEs
The definition of small scale industry varies with the culture and peculiar circumstances of the person attempting the definition. Studies on small scale enterprises identify more than fifty different definitions in seventy-five countries. The small scale business act passed by the united states congress in 1953 state that “A small business is one which is independently owned and operated and not dominant in it field of operation” (Amienghomwan, 2004). In greet Britain, the standard definition of small business is a business with an annual turnover of two million pounds sterling or less with a less than two hundred paid employees.
In Nigeria, the multiplicity of the definition is quite apparent. The Nigeria bank for commerce and industry (1990) defines a small-scale enterprise as one whose capital does not exceed N750,000 whereas the federal government in 1973 viewed small scale industries to include all trading and manufacturing units with a total capital investment up to N60,000 and paid employees up t o fifty persons (Ikharehon, 2002) the industrial research unit of the Obafemi Awolowo University defines small scale enterprise as one “whose total assets in equipment, plant and working capital are less than N250,000 and employing fewer than fifty, full-time workers (Banmbach 1992). While the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) operational guidelines in 1988 defined small scale enterprises with reference to two financial areas:- the merchant banks and commercial banks) it states, “for lending purpose of merchant banks a small scale enterprise is one with a minimum annual return of N500,000”. However, Osazee and Anao (1989) defined a small scale business as any business undertaken, owned, managed and controlled by not more than two entrepreneurs, has no more than twenty employees, has no definite organizational structure (i.e all employees report to the owners) and has a relatively small shares of its market.
In United States, the size of a business is measured using several criteria including the number of employees, total sales volume and total assets. Any business that employs more than one hundred people or grosses less than one million dollars is considered small in united states. Whereas in Nigeria, this could perfectly fit into medium scale business. This therefore makes it relatively difficult to attempt to define small scale enterprise differently from medium scale enterprise. The Nigeria minister for industry noted that “Enterprises employing under 500 workers are generally regarded world wide as SMEs”. Based on the structure of manufacturing in Nigeria, SMES are now defined on the basis of employment, In micro/cottage industries, 1-10 workers, small scale industries 11-100 works, medium scale industries 101-300 workers and large scale industries with 301 and above” (Jamodu 2000). In Japan, small business are described as “Ocusho Kigyo” which refers to small and medium firms that may secure capital up to one hundred million Japanese yen and less than 299 employees in manufacturing. In Indian, a small business involves a capital investment in plant and machinery not exceeding Rs 351khs. While in Indonesia the central Bureau of Statistics classified a unit employing 5-6 workers as a small scale enterprise. On the other hand, the Bank of Indonesia, defines small scale enterprise as having net worth in excess of twenty million rupees (Kesavan, 1995).
Based on the foregoing it is clear that there is no universally accepted definition of what constitute small and medium scale enterprise. What is most important therefore is the SMEs annexation of resources and overall contribution to the economic well being of developing nations across the globe.
3.0 Establishing Small And Medium Scale Enterprise In Nigeria
The following factors may make an individual decide to establish his/her own enterprise.
a. Job dissatisfaction: When an individual feels his skills, experience and other attributes are not being properly utilized, he/she may become dissatisfied with the job.
b. Lack of challenges
c. Pay dissatisfaction
d. Unemployment
e. The desire to be independent
f. Security
g. Encouragement by friends and government policies
Birley (1996) in his work titled “start up in small business and entrepreneurship cited in Izedomi (2006) outlined the following questions which are relevant for a business start up.
(i) How do I stand? The first thing to consider in starting a business is to have a desire to do so. This is a commitment that only on individual can decide on. One this decision is made, the next steps are to
• Know oneself
• Look for opportunities
• Consider available resource
• Plan to use these resource to take on the opportunities
(ii) What is the cost? The cost of starting a business will depend entirely on the needs. However, it is important to pay attention to following:
• Keeping cost as low as possible
• Doing most of the work, which is free to you
• Making available a detailed cost breakdown before executing a task.
(iii) When is the best time to start?
The best time for any business to start is now since there is no time like the present. This is because hesitation in business start up may lead to losing out.
Birely further outline a business start up plan using a flow chart as show below:

Business Start-Up Planning Chart

Source: Izadomi (2006)
(iv) Other requirements for business start up includes:
• Start a business with good people
• produce what customers actually want
• Minimize your expenses as much as possible
• Environmental factors
• Good road factors
• Electricity supply
• Closeness to the market and raw material (Izedomi 2006)
Most start ups that fail to do so because they fail at one of the above (curran and Blackburn, 1991). Therefore, a start-up that does all these will probably succeed.
Ikharehon (2002), is of the view that some people know exactly what business they want to start. Other need to search for a business that will be successful. The two basic research activities that have worked for several people are listed below:
(i) Read the following:
• Trade papers
• Business journals
(ii) Talk to the following people:
• Bankers,
• Accountants
• Business consultants
• Lawyers etc.
These professionals are able to help potential proprietors assess their ability. They may also know of individuals who have a business to sell.
• Business broker
• Industrial developers
• Chamber of commerce
• Friends, relatives and prospective customers
These individual are able to react to suggested needs that could be me by a potential business.
According to Baridam (1991) cited in Iregheh (2011), there are three ways by which a person can enter into business on his own, viz,
(a) He may decide to buy a business that is already established. If he adopts this option he must find out when the business was established, what is the profit of the business over the years, why the owners want to sell it amongst others.
(b) He may decide to start a new business. If he adopt this several option, he must determine the viability of the chosen venture.
(c) He may buy a franchise: if he adopt this option, he will need to obtain a patent or brand market license entitling him to a particular product or service under a trade frame or trade mark according to pre arranged terms and conditions.
Looking at the three ways of by which a person can launch his own business, two basic issues are critical to getting started viz. naming your business and estimating start up cost.

4.0 Naming Your Business
Selecting a name for your business is almost as important as the choice of business itself (Banmbach 1992). The name of a business must convey not only the type of business, but also imply the degree of formality and set the tone before a customer enters an establishment. In Nigeria, a business name must be registered with the corporate affairs commission (CAC). This requirement is for the protection of customer and creditor who have the legal right to know the identity of the owners. Your CAC certificates of incorporation offer you some protection from the abuse or duplication of your business name. If you were the first to use the name in your area, you could probably prevent others from using your name or at least collect royalties from them for the privilege of using the name.

5.0 Estimating Stand Up Cost
This is a major requirement for effective financing. It should usually be the starting point. However, there is no generic method for estimating start-up costs since some business can be started at zero kobo, other requires a few naira while others may requires considerable investment in inventory or equipment. To determine a start-up costs, all the business expenses must be identified. Some of these express will be one-time costs, such as the fee for incorporation and the building costs. Ongoing cost also includes the cost of utilities, inventory, and insurance e.t.c (Timnons 2001). These latter classes of costs also go for existing business.
While identifying these costs, it is necessary to decide whether they are essential or option. A realistic start-up budget should only include those elements that are necessary to start the business (Izedomi 2006). These essential expenses can then be divided into two separate categories. Fixed (overhead) expenses and variable (related to business sales) expenses.
Other questions the SMEs owner should address before commersement of business are,
- Personal factors: What personal qualities account for success in business:
Has enough experience been obtained in this particular types of business?
- Location: Where should the business be located? What factors should be considered in selecting a good location for the business
- Regulation: What laws and regulations ordinaly affect the business? Are any special permits or licenses necessary?
- Records: What kinds of records should be kept and how? Can the record keeping system be stanched? Who will keep these records and prepare the records?
- Buying? Who will supply the business with the needed items for operation? What goods or services are necessary, and in what qualities? When should they be purchased what favourable terms are available.
- Organization: Should the business be individually owned and operated or would be partnership or corporate be more advantageous?
- Layout: Where should the different items of mechanahise or equipment be located in the business? Should a news structure be built?
- Building: Can an existing plant or building be rented, bought or leased and then adopted for the business? Should a new structure be built?
- Personal: Where can qualified help be found? What training will the employees need? What benefits should be offered to encourage good workers to stay with the business? What other personnel problems might arise and how will they be resolved.
- Expansion: What must be done to expand the business? When would be the best time to expand?
Addressing each of these questions is a matter of foresight or indeed, more of planning.

6.0 Problems Of SMES
Ekezie (1995), enumerated SMEs problems in Nigeria to include: under capitalization, inadequate finance, ignorance of institutionalized incentives, high rate of business mortality, lack of trained personal, restricted market, lack to ownership dilution, poor accounting and recording keeping, diversion of business fund, poor infrastructural facilities and lack of appropriate technologies among others.
Akpokerere (2009), noted that small and medium scale business in Nigeria faces a lot of problems which make the realization of the benefits of SMEs difficult in the Nigeria economy. Bacdom (2004) and Iromaka (2006) stated that the most important problems of SMEs include the following:
a) Constrained Access to Money and Capital Market: Most SMEs are restricted to funds from family members and friends and are therefore unable to respond timely to unanticipated challenges. More worrisome is the SMEs inability to adequately tap available finance from the capital market. This has been attributed to their aversion to disclosure and ownership dilution.
b) Lack of Continuity: Most small-scale establishment are sole proprietorships and such establishments often cease to function as soon as the owner loses interest or dies. This raises the risk of financing such establishment.
c) Poor Management Expertise: Management has always been a problem in this sector as most entrepreneurs do not have the required management expertise to carry them through once the business starts growing. The situation gets compounded as training is not usually accorded priority in such establishments.
d) Inadequate Information Base: Small scale industries are usually characterized by poor records keeping and this usually starves them of necessary information required for planning and management purpose. This usually affects the project realization in this sector.
e) Poor Accounting System: The accounting system of most small scale industries lack standards and does not make room for the assessment of their performances. This creates opportunity for mismanagement, which subsequently may lead to enterprises failure.
f) Unstable Government Policy: Government’s policy instability has not been helpful to small scale industries. That has destabilized and indeed sent many small scale industries to early fold ups.
g) Restricted Market Access: Insufficient demand for the products of the SMEs also imposes constraint on their growth. Although many SMEs produce some inputs for the large enterprises, the non-standardization of their products, the problem of quality assurance as well as generally low purchasing power, arising from consumers’ dwindling real incomes, effectively restrict their markets. This is further compounded by the absence of knowledge about the existence of fringe markets by the SMEs.
h) Lack Of Raw Materials: In some SMEs, raw materials are source externally such enterprises are fixed to sourcing of exchange to get these needed raw materials foreign. The fluctuation of foreign exchange may therefore make it difficult to plan and that may precipate some stock and thing will destabilize the set up.
These problems can be categorized as finance, managerial/technical, commercial and infrastructure or must appropriately can be categorized as micro and macro problems. While the micro problems are those that are inherent in nature and operations of the SMEs, the macro those problems are those that are inherent in the economy thereby making the business environment difficult for the SMEs to strive or operate

7.0 Importance Of SMEs To The Nigeria Economy
In developing country like Nigeria, the importance of SMEs in the process of social economic development cannot be overlooked. The SMEs are very important to the economy in that large percentage of their production inputs are sourced locality thus, reducing the pressure on the limited foreign exchange earnings, helping to eliminate some of the deficit in the balance of payment.
Ikherehon (2002), enumerates the roles of SMEs as summarized bellows:
• SMEs constitutes the very basis of the national economy
• Developing of local technology
• Provide an effective means of stimulating indigenous entrepreneurship
• Mobilization and utilization of domestic savings
• Greater employment creation per unit of capital employment.
• Ensure the structural balance in terms of large and small industry sectors as well as rural urban areas.
• Ensure the supply of high quality parts and components and intermediate products thereby strengthening the international competitiveness of manufacturer’s goods.
• Stimulate technological development and innovations, produce specialized item in small quality to meet current and diverse demands
• Effective in subcontracting with large enterprises
• Increase efficiency by reducing cost and improving flexibility
• Capacity to expand export possibility and substitutes import effectively.
In addition to the above, Nwoye (1991) on the importance of SMEs, stressed that “it is now realized that the large scale enterprises have not played the dynamic role they are supposed to play in the rapid growth and development of the economy”. This role includes substantial contribution of the sector to the economic development of a nation in the form of improved GDP, employment generation, increasing local value added, technological development among others.
However, the importance of SMEs in the development of the country has been summarized in Nigeria third national development plan 1975-1980 as the generation of employment opportunities, stimulation of indigenous entrepreneurship, facilitation of effective mobilization of local resources including capital and skill as well as reduction in regional disparities (Rahanaty 2009).

8.0 Government’s past and present effort towards small and medium enterprise development in Nigeria
Over the years, the federal government has seen SMEs as the Cradle for industrialization and a prerequisite for rapid economic growth and self reliance. As a result, the government enunciated a number of policies and programmes/incentive that would create a conducive environment for the development and promoting of SMEs. The government for instance, enunciated a number of financial policies through national development plans and budgets as well as through its agencies to fund and provide necessary extension service to SMEs. Thus the government financial policy thrust is to ensure adequate financing of SMEs through loans or equity participation and to provide fiscal incentives designed to aid their growth and rapid development.
Among these policies/programmes are, the small industries credit committee (SCC) set up to administer to the country between 1975 and 1980. However, the performance of the small scale industries credit scheme was unfortunately rather poor in the sense that many unviable projects were funded( Ikharehon 2002).
- The federal government in 1973 established Nigerian bank for commerce and industry (NBCI) to provide financial services to small scale businesses. NBCI loans and equity investment in small business continued to be of immense help in the development of SMEs in the country (Anyanwu 1981).
- The national directorate of employment (NDE) was established in 1986 to promote the development of small scale enterprises. As a result of its activities in 1987, over 148,000 new jobs were directly created through the founding and setting of small scale enterprises (Philips 1981).
- The national economy recovery fund (VERFUND) was established to promote SMEs by providing medium to long term loans (5-10years) to those in Agro-Altied industries, industrial support services mining, quarrying, equipment leasing and other ancillary projects. The federal government provided N190 million while CBN contributed N100 million. African development bank contributed the remaining counterpart fund (Izedomi, 2011).
It should be mentioned that within the same period, other agencies such directorate of food, road, and rural infrastructure (DFRRI), better life for rural dwellers, peoples banks, community banks, new micro finance banks (MFB), working for yourself programme, the centre for management development were established to enhance the growth and development of SMEs.
The formation of small and medium scale industries apex unit within the central bank to assist in the disbursement of world bank $270 million loan to small scale entrepreneurs and the latest official concern by the federal governments towards encouraging the creation of small scale industries is encouraging. Therefore consoling the effects of poverty and unemployment, was the establishment of poverty alleviation program (PAP), youth empowerment scheme (YES), national economic empowerment and development strategy (NEEDS) at federal level, state economic empowerment and development strategy (SEEDS) at state level and local economic empowerment and development strategy (LEEDS) at local government level.

9.0 Problems Associated With Government Efforts Towards SMES
Although government made a substantial effort on the development of small scale industries, nevertheless, part of the huge SMEs problems could be traced to the government. This is mostly in the area of improper implementation of its policies towards SMEs and a serious neglect in the area of incentive and infrastructural development to facilitate business activities of SMEs.
Government policies seems to have constituted a serious problem area for SMEs. The beginning of harsh government policies toward SMEs can be traced back to 1982 with the introduction of “stabilization measures” which resulted in import controls and drastic budget cuts. These, in turn, adversely affected the subvention to the financial institutions established to provide financial assistance to the SMSs . For example, in 1983, out of a total of 8,380 applications for loans received from the SMSs for a total of 46.66 million naira was disbursed.(Alasan and Yakubu,2011).
As the economic situation deteriorated, the government introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986. Since the strategy of liberalization and deregulation of interest rates was implemented, interest rates have continued to increase. The SMEs, which prior to the SAP had been granted concessionary rates of interest (particularly for agricultural and housing loans), have had great difficulties obtaining credit of a Stabilization Securities Account (SSA) whereby the banks were debited with liquidity in their accounts with the Central Bank.
The frequent changes, and sometimes conflicting government monetary policies, have also tended to hurt the SMEs. For example, while the government increased total credit allocation to SMSs from 16 to 20 per cent, the same government removed excess liquidity in the banking industry through increase in the minimum rediscount rate (MRR), transfer of government and parastatal accounts to the Central Bank and the creation of stabilization security Account (SSA) whereby the banks were debited with sicess liquidity in their accounts with central bank.
Another area is misappropriation of funds and wrong channeling,. Obi (1991) pointed out was that the plan to provide, modest loan to small scale business operations was a flop, because loans were granted in most cases on political rather than on commercial or project viability considerations. What was supposed to be revolving fund designed to benefit so many SMEs owners ended up as a bonanza for a few and it become virtually impossible to recover most of the loans.
Another factor is the government improper implementation of its policies. Its inability to recruit trained manpower and adequate equipment to aid the extension services, it put in place to support the SMEs. According to Obi (1991), the development centres were not endowed with adequate manpower to carry out technical appraisal of applications for loans from surging applicants.
In the same vain, Ireghah (2009), in an empirical study titled analysis of the impact of government policies on SMEs (entrepreneurial development) noted that government policy programs on SMEs are concentrated in the cities where there is strict competition between the SMEs products and large scale business. While rural areas where their activities will impact on the macro economy environment through provision of in employment rate, reduction in rural-urban migration and overall contribution to the GDP where neglected

10.0 Conclusion
Inspite of these identified enormous challenges confronting SMEs in Nigeria, they still continued to strive at their very best and their existence is the key to national economic development.
With evidence from countries like Indian, Indonesia, Malaysia etc where SMEs constitute more than 40% of the Gross Domestic product it is clear that SMEs in a developing country like Nigeria, if policies implementation is enhanced through efficient monitoring, periodic review and infrastructural facilities provided, the SMEs will be empowered thereby powering the engineer growth o the economy.

11.0 Recommendation
1. The entrepreneurs who are operators of these small and medium scale enterprises must ensure continuous accountability to ensure, survival, growth and development of their enterprises.
2. The entrepreneurs should ensure good conduct in carrying out their businesses as this will bring about truth, fairness, objectivity and integrity which in the long run will enhance goodwill that lead to growth and development.
3. Government should as a policy strategy institutionalize small and medium investors development scheme/centre to broaden the scope of entrepreneurial activites which will enhance productivity and strengthen their skills.
4. government should provide diversified, affordable and dependable financial services to the active poor, in a timely and competitive manner, that would enable small and medium scale investors to undertake and develop long-term sustainable entrepreneurial activities.
5. Government should be responsible for ensuring a stable macro-economic environment for small and medium scale investors by providing basic infrastructures (electricity, water, roads, telecommunications etc) political and social stability.
6. The ideas of the establishment of micro finance banks by the central bank of Nigeria may go a long way (only if it does not allow the usual path of such institutions before it). Therefore, small and medium scale investors should approach the macro-finance banks for such necessary funds for the establishment and growing of small businesses.
7. Financial institutions should be encouraged by means of incentives and policy guidelines to lend to small and medium scale investors. Although, every annual budget will always indicate monetary guidelines for granting loans to individual sectors with emphasis on small scale industries. However, this should be properly monitored to ensure strict compliance.
8. Government should ensure full implementation of its policies on SMEs programmes through monitory, continuous appraisal and upgrading
9. Government should also ensure that there is constant value for money audit on all its SMEs programmes

REFERENCES

Akpokerere, O.E (2009): Small and Medium Scale Business Enterprise:
Vehicle for Economic Development in Nigeria , International Journal of Business and Common Market Studies, vol.6 No. 1&2.

Alasan A.B & Yakubu N.A (2011): Entrepreneurship Studies: Theories and
Practice of Entrepreneurship Development: Insurance and Enterprise in Nigeria, Benin, Gompia Press, Revised Edition.

Amienghonwan P.O (2004): Small Business Management in Nigeria, Lagos,
Matko Publisher Ltd, Vol. 1.

Anyanwu, C.M (1989): Government Financial Policies in Respect of Small
Scale Medium Enterprises in Nigeria. A paper Delivered at Centre for Industrial Research and Development, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Banmbach, C.M (1992): Basic Small Business Management, Obafemi
Awolowo University Press Ltd.

Baadom , S.B (2004): Fundamental of Small Business Management in

Birley, S. (1996): Start-Up in Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Eds.
Burns, P. and Dewhurst, J. Macmilan.

Curran, J. and Blackburn, R (1991) Paths of Enterprise” Future of the Small
Business, London, Rocitledge.

Ekezie, E.E (1995): Small Scale Business in Nigeria: The Financial
Solution”. The Nigerian Accountant, Vol.28 No 3.

Ikharehon J.I (2000): An Introduction to Small Scale Business Management,
Benin, Best Printers Benin City.

Ireghah M.M (2011): Entrepreneurship studies: Concepts and Practice:
The Requirement for Starting A Business Enterprise. Benin, Gompia Press, Revised Edition.

Ireghah M.M (2009): Analysis of the Impact of Macro Economic Policies on
Entrepreneurial Development in Nigeria (Accepted for Publication) Auchi Journal of Entrepreneurial Development.

Iromala, R.U (2006): Small and Medium Scale Business Development, Lagos; Cedar Trust Venture Ltd.

Izedomi F. (2006) Sourcing Finance for Start-up and Existing Business in
Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges. ICAN Student Journal, Vol. 10, No 2.

Jamodu, K. (2001): Small Business Enterprises, Lagos, Elfoda Ventures.

Kesavan, R. (2002): Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development,
The US Experience, Gregory W. Ulferts, DBA.
Nwoye, M. I (1991). Small Business, How to start and succeed. Benin city, the social science services. University of Benin

Osazee, B.E and Anao, A.R (1981): Managerial Finance, Benin, University of Benin Press.

Obi A.W (1991):” Purpose for Small Scale Industries Development, Vol. xvi alo.2.

Philips, T. (1985):” The Role of the Capital Market in Recessed Economy” Business Times, February, 9

Timmons J.A (2001): New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for 21st
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Revenue Generation From Consultancy Activaties

REVENUE GENERATION FROM CONSULTANCY ACTIVITIES:
A CASE STUDY OF AUCHI POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI, EDO STATE, NIGERIA.

BY

JIMAH M. S. Ph.D
DEPARTMENT OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING
SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi,
Edo State, Nigeria.

ABSTRACT
This paper is a factual, experience-based account of the formation of Polyconsult, the Auchi Polytechnic Consultancy Unit. It presents with facts and figures, the functions of the Unit, how it has progressed as an income earner for the Polytechnic and the extent to which its mandate has been fulfilled. Polyconsult nets in as much as N954, 000.00 monthly from its various sources at peak periods, although it is not able to fully execute its mandate due to some bottlenecks such as lack of autonomy and funds. Finally the paper offers some suggestions for better performance, such as proper funding and complete autonomy while maintaining an effective board of trustees comprising all stake holders.

Key words: Consultancy; Revenue generation; Management.
Introduction
Consultancy according to Longman dictionary of contemporary English (2001) simply put, is the giving of Advice and training in a particular area to people in other areas or spheres. The consultant therefore must be a person who has a lot of experience and whose job it is to give advice and training in a particular area. Internally Generated Revenue, IGR for short on the other hand was institutionalized in Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babaginda Administration sometime in 1989. The main purpose then was to make institutions and Agencies of government look inwards for revenue to run their establishments rather than leave all bills for government to bear through the allocation of subvention (Fagbolu,2003) . To be able to do this properly and efficiently too, the employment of good management techniques becomes a sin-qua-non.
Management is concerned primarily with the search for the best of resources (i.e. man, money, materials and methodologies) in pursuit of the objectives of a given organization (Suleiman, 2001). It sometimes presupposes centrality of decision making and involves choosing between competing alternative and facing the challenge of doing more with less (Ogunu,2001) .
In the administration and development of institutions a lot of funds are required. These are usually in the areas of capital and recurrent expenditure. In all cases the development of both physical and human aspects are essential. The funds required to service these sectors are enormous and the pressure on government allocations have become extreme hence the need to look inwards and generate income to complement government efforts cannot be over emphasized (Hinchliffe,2002).
One of such areas is the consultancy arm or unit of an institution. In this case the Polytechnic. The consultancy unit if well organized can harness the much needed internally generally revenue requirements of institutions. Among other functions, it can assemble, collate data on human resources and professionals and source and promote consultancy business jointly with them. The unit can also directly execute huge contract works on behalf of the institution and profits made can be channeled into areas of need. In all these cases, good and efficient management is an underlining factor.
Good and efficient management can only be built on sound decision and sound decision making process. Suleiman (2001) stressed that education should use the most up to date techniques in management; and these techniques include management by objectives (MBO) in the case of personnel management; planning, programming and budgeting system for financial planning and cost benefit and cost effectiveness analysis for project execution. Put together they entail a more systematic resource allocation and use and a more accurate enumeration and evaluation of costs and benefits. In this paper, how these parameters interplay in Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State Nigeria are examined.

Case Study: Location.
Auchi Polytechnic is sited in the growing urban town of Auchi located between latitude 7º and 7º14’ of North of the equator and longitude 6º and 6º14’ of the East of the Greenwich meridian line (Jimah,2007) . The town is the administrative headquarters of Etsako-West local government area of Edo state, Nigeria, with a population of about 80,000 (NPC,1991) . Auchi Polytechnic is one of the first generation Polytechnics in Nigeria with a student population of about 25,000 in 29 academic departments.

Fig 1: Map of Edo State showing Etsako West Local Government Area

Formation and Structure
Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi among her several units and departments has a consultancy outfit known and called Auchi Polyconsult. The main duty of this unit is to source for revenue for the Polytechnic to help support financially, the government subvention and reposition the Polytechnic to carry out it’s numerous functions, all of which has some financial implications (Auchi poly. Prospectus,2009) . It was established sometimes in 1994. As earlier stated, this has become extremely necessary as the subvention/grant from government has not only reduced particularly in the areas of capital expenditure but has become grossly inadequate and if not quickly checked might threaten the very existence of the institution and ideals of her founders.
Thus formed, Auchi Polytechnic consultancy unit otherwise referred to as Auchi Polyconsult carry out the following functions; collection of fees from GSM operators, managing of the Polytechnic guesthouse, collection of electricity rates from operators in School shopping complex as well as collecting duties from mobile traders and space allotters. There are also other miscellaneous payments made to it. e.g. the hiring of the Polytechnic buses etc.
However, there are other functions/duties that the unit can carry out using professionals in the various academic departments. They include;
1. Design production of ceramics, sculpture, graphics, textiles and general painting.
2. Feasibility studies on projects/businesses.
3. Management studies; accounting, auditing/taxation and secretarial duties.
4. Computer services, installation, maintenance and general repairs.
5. Architectural design; Town planning, landscape design, horticulture, valuation and property management, surveying.
6. Special training programmes, seminar and workshops.
7. Mass communication, video recording/production.
8. Legal services.
9. Engineering works/ production, fabrication, transportation and water resources studies.
10. Polymer Technology, chemical analysis, production design and development.
Source: Auchi Polytechnic prospectus (2008/2009 session).

The Polyconsult unit of Auchi Polytechnic is headed by a director who is not lower than the rank of a principal lecturer. He is in charge of the day to day running of the unit. He is the Chief executive officer of the unit. He is responsible to a board of trustee headed by the Rector of the Polytechnic.
The Polyconsult unit has other sub-units headed by supervisors who reports to an administrative officer. The administrative officer briefs the director on the activities of the supervisors and takes instructions from the director. He is responsible to the director.
The unit has an accounting section which is headed by an accountant. The accountant has under him revenue collectors from various sections who collect monies and remit same to the accountant who in turn pays the sums so collected to designated bank accounts of the Polytechnic. The accountant is responsible and accountable to the director in the first instance and briefs/submits his financial records to the Polytechnic bursar there after.
All other junior and casual staffers in the unit, reports to the administrative officer who equally briefs the director on their activities from time to time. Most of these staffers are paid by the Polytechnic (See Organogram below).

Figure 2: Organogram of Auchi Polyconsult

Discussions
From the formation and structure, it is clear that Auchi Polyconsult has enormity of programmes. As at today the Polyconsult has been able to carry out a fraction of the functions it set out to originally cover. In all, only the following areas are covered from inception in 1994 up to March 2008 when a new Rector was appointed. She has set out to revitalize and re-strategies the unit for greater efficiency haven’t put in place the current Board of Trustee for the unit. The areas currently managed for revenue generation include:

(a) The mobile phone section:
The unit built phone booths with the advent of mobile phones in the country. These are about 10 in number. These booths are privatized and managed by the unit. The operators pay a paltry sum of two hundred naira (N200) per day for a maximum of 5 days a week subject to the availability of network services. As time went on the inadequacy of these booths became glaring and a new device was adopted by the unit whereby space was allocated to interested operators who prepare their phone space at their costs. For these classes of operators they pay N100 per day subject to a maximum of 5 days a week, public holidays exclusive. From this section, the unit is able to remit between one hundred thousand naira (N100, 000.00) to one hundred and fifty thousand naira (N150, 000.00) monthly for the periods the school is in session. In a year this section nets in between N800, 000 and above. Considering the fact that not much is invested here, it is a good job (See Table 1).

TABLE 1: Fees paid by phone booth operators during peak periods
s/no Operators No Weekly Remittance Monthly Remittance % of
Polyconsult monthly Remittance
1.

2. Booth operators

Private operators 10

50 N10,000

N25,000 40,000

100,000 4.19

10.49
Total 35,000 140,000 14.68
Source: Author Statistical records, 2007.

(b) The Polytechnic Guesthouse:
The Polytechnic guesthouse is run and managed by the consultancy unit. The guest house has a total of 14 lodging rooms of various sizes. It has a small restaurant and a laundry. However the scenery is beautiful with outdoor bars and ornamental trees that ensure a fresh breath whenever you take one. Money generated here at peak periods is between Six hundred thousand naira and Eight hundred thousand naira (N600, 000 – N800, 000) monthly. These are during festivals and when there is an upsurge of guests from the Polytechnic. This is the major revenue earner of the Polyconsult unit. Recently however there are plans to divorce it from the unit and set it to stand on its own. The Polytechnic guesthouse accounts for over 70% of the total revenue of the unit (See Table 2).

TABLE 2: Revenue Earned By Various Sections at Peak Periods
S/no Section Revenue month (N) % of Total Earning/Months
1. Phone operations 140,000 14.68%
2. Poly guest house 700,000 73.38%
3. Electricity bills 40,000 4.19%
4. MobileTraders 40,000 4.19%
5. Space allocation 4,000 0.42%
6. Others 30,000 3.14%
Total 954,000 100%
Source: Authors Statistical Records, 2007

(c) Electricity bills:
The Polytechnic which is billed along maximum demand (MD) tariff collects light bill from the school shopping complex where shop operators built their shops themselves but must remit computed electricity bills to the Polytechnic through the consultancy unit. It is suffice to say here that revenue got from this section is small and average about N40, 000 monthly as shown in Table 2.
(d) Mobile traders:
Though, there is a shopping complex in the school, not all traders are housed here. Some traders are mobile and hawk outside the shopping complex. These categories of traders are termed mobile traders and for them to carry out any form of business in the school, they must first register with polyconsult and pay a paltry sum as fees each month. From investigations it is between N500 and N800 monthly. Hence this sections contribution to total income earned in Polyconsult is just 4.19% as shown in table 2.

(e) Others:
These include the space allocation section and occasional payment for the use of the polytechnic buses. The space allocation section contributes the least to the income aggregates of the Polyconsult unit with 0.42%.

Bottlenecks/Constraints
The Polyconsult unit has faired well given the prevailing circumstance and environment it has to operate. A close look at her capabilities vis-à-vis what it is currently engaged in reveals that her current activities are less than 20% of its mandate. This is essentially so because of the several bottlenecks and constraints it has to cope with. Some of these include; Lack of proper office space lack of adequate manpower; inadequacy of funds; total absence of required equipments and machinery as well as needed logistics. Of most importance here is the non-independence status of the unit although, the new Rector in a bid to ensure efficiency and transparency has set out to overhaul the unit for greater productivity and improve her earnings drastically. All these problems need immediate attention.

Conclusion
The events and narration in this write up have been experience based and factual. Mater of fact, it is based on first hand information. Although the Auchi polyconsult unit has contributed in no small measures to the generation of internal revenue in the circumstances it has to operate, there is a lot of room for improvement and mobiles enough resources with proper management using up-to-date management techniques. To achieve this required boost in revenue generation and mobilization, the following suggestions should be studied carefully and implemented systematically. It is hoped that the desired results will be got after implementation.

Recommendations
In line with the highlighted constraints, the following recommendations are suggested:
(a) The consultancy unit of the Polytechnic should be completely divorced from the central administration of the Polytechnic. The Rector of our case study has started this process. When fully set on its own, the mobilization of resources and its subsequent management will be boosted and the desired results will be glaring.
(b) Once on it own, the Polytechnic should not staff the unit but allow it to operate along privatized lines. This way emolument becomes an entire affair of the unit. The unit should have both internal and external auditors and a sharing formula for profits should be devised and acceptable to all stake holders.
(c) To take off properly, adequate take off grant should be made available to the unit and targets given to it to offset the grants within a time period.
(d) A board of trustee which is already place in our case study should be encouraged and sustained. This will ensure that due process are followed and adhered to, in all situations. The constitution of the board should be all encompassing and all stake holders must be involved.

References
Auchi Polytechnic Prospectus (2009). 2008/2009 Session. Benin-city: Soko printing press.
Fagbolu, I. (2003). Cost of finance of Education. Today,vol.10 no 1.
Hinchliffe, K. (2002). Public expenditure on education in Nigeria. Issues, estimates and some implications. The World Bank.
Jimah, M.S (2007) Forest Resources Depletion in Edo State. A Case Study of Auchi Forest Feserve. Unpublished MSc. Thesis
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (2001).
NPC,(1991). Nigeria Population Commission Report. Lagos. Government Press.
Ogunu, M.A. (2001). Introduction to Educational Management. Benin-city: Mabogun Publishers.
Suleiman, I. (2001); Crisis in Nigerian Educational system. In Reassessing the future of education in Nigeria, Nnoli, O. and Suleiman, I. (eds) Abuja: Education Tax fund.

ICTs IN EDUCATION:BEYOND READINESS AND COMPULSIVE INITIATIVES

ICTs IN EDUCATION, BEYOND READINESS AND COMPULSIVE INITIATIVES FOR ENHANCED HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT AND BLENDED LEARNING: THE AUCHI POLYTECHNIC EXPERIENCE.

BY

DR. (MRS) P. O. IDOGHO
RECTOR, AUCHI POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI. EDO STATE, NIGERIA.

AND

TPL. (DR.) M. S. JIMAH
DIRECTOR , CENTRE FOR ENTERPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT, (CEDAP), AUCHI POLYTECHNIC, AUCHI. EDO STATE, NIGERIA

A paper presented at the CAPA International Conference held in Lesotho.

November 29th- 3rd December, 2010

ABSTRACT

This paper identifies the factors affecting the assimilation of ICT in Nigerian tertiary institutions and the initiatives taken by Auchi Polytechnic to overcome some of them. Drawing from the experience of the present Rector’s administration, the study analyzed the readiness of the institution to launch digital age literacy and encourage blended learning through ICT’s training and orientations. The study covers students, staff and institution readiness factors. Findings suggest that ICT’s training have attendant effect on increased learner motivation and engagement, by facilitating the acquisition of basic skills, and enhanced teacher training. It also indicate that ICT as a transformational tool can promote the shift to learning models that combine traditional classroom practice with e- learning solutions. The methodology adopted a survey based approach and drawing from our school’s initiative at fast-tracking ICT’s assimilation. The study can help provide a foundation of comparative case studies in the gains of ICT’s in education in tertiary institutions in Africa.

Key Words; Blended, Learning, Training.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become one of the building blocks of modern society. This makes the mastering of basic skills and concepts in ICT as part of the core of education, alongside reading, writing and numeracy (UNESCO, 2002).One subset of ICT that is gaining currency in educational pedagogy is blended learning. It is a mixed-mode approach to learning that offers a set of complex tools for content creation, self and collaborative learning, in line with the known traditional method of classroom face-to-face learning. Blended learning offers potentials for genuine transformation within the academy particularly the African settings besetted with a plethora of developmental challenges.

However, the adoption of blended learning requires enormous finances to procure information technology infrastructures; I. T- based human capacity training and development readiness factor on the part of students and teachers, the development of instructional media packages (IMPs) and a stable supply of electricity. These factors are some of the constraints that militates against the smooth assimilation of ICTs and blended learning in African Tertiary education.

Auchi Polytechnic, though bedeviled with these constraints, has through proactive leadership and compulsive motivation surmounted the bane for smooth uptake of ICT in Education. The gains in launching digital literacy and blending learning in Auchi Polytechnic, impact on the students, teachers and institution beneficially.

The aim of this paper is to highlight our approach and gains that would source as paradigm for other African institutions to emulate.

2.0 THE CONCEPT OF BLENDED LEARNING

Blended learning has been a catch-word in recent times due to the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education. Blended learning has been around for many years, but the nomenclature has changed as the uses and recognition were increased; thus, it is not a new concept, but may be a new term to many users. Some of the common synonyms of blended learning are “integrated learning”, “hybrid learning”, and multi-method learning”, “mixed-method learning etc. “The mere existence of so many names for what is essentially a single concept suggests that no dominant model has yet been accepted as a definition of standard practice’’ (Dziuban et al, 2004).

There are so many definitions of blended learning, but the most common is that which recognizes some combination of virtual and physical environments (Stancey & Gerbic, 2008). For example, Heinze and Procter (2004) defined blended learning as learning that is facilitated by the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning, and is based on transparent communication amongst all parties involved with a course. Graham, (2006) sees it as the convergence of face-to-face settings, which are characterized by synchronous and human interaction, and Information and communication technology (ICT) based settings, which are asynchronous and text-based and where human operate independently. Dziuban et al (2004) and Vaughan, (2008), define blended learning as “the thoughtful fusion of face-to-face and on-line learning experiences and reduced classroom contact hours (reduced seat time)”.

From the foregoing definitions, blended learning is a mix-mode learning approach that combines or accommodate different learning environments (combine traditional face-to-face instruction with computer-mediated instructions). It also applies science or informatics with the assistance of educational technologies using computers, cellular or smart phones, satellite television channels, videoconferencing and emerging electric media to traditional instruction.

Blended learning was prompted by the recognition that not all learning is best achieved in an electronically-mediated led environment, particularly one that disperse with a live instructor altogether. Instead, consideration must be given to the subject matter, the learning objectives and outcomes, the characteristics of the learners, and the learning context in order to arrive at the optimum mix of instructional and delivery methods (Tinio,2003). However, it should be noted that blended learning is not wholly dependent upon a sophisticated e-learning technology infrastructure. It thus include things that can be done differently using a combination of existing or easily developed resources alongside required organizational changes with the objective of providing realistic practical opportunities for learners and teachers to make learning independent, useful, sustainable and ever growing (Graham, 2006).

According to Dziuban, et al (2004) maximizing success in a blended learning initiative requires a planned and well-supported approach that includes a theory-based instructional model, high-quality faculty development, course development assistance, learner support and on-going formative and summative assessment.

3.0 BLENDED LEARNING ADAPTATION TO AUCHI POLYTECHNIC
TRADITIONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.

Auchi Polytechnic is one the first generation Polytechnics in Nigeria. It is situated in the south-south geopolitical zone in Edo State, Nigeria. It has its origin as Technical College founded in 1963, as a gift of the British Government to the then Mid-West regional government of Nigeria. In 1974, the State government converted it to a full fledge Polytechnic with the mandate to provide training and certification in discipline in Engineering, Business, Sciences, Environmental studies, and Art and Design. The Polytechnic education in Nigeria provides training which impacts scientific and technological skills which imbues its graduates with the essence and attributes of self-realization, self reliance, self employment and national consciousness. To ensure it discharge of this mandate, the management of Auchi Polytechnic, periodically reviews the curriculum in cooperation with regulatory and professional bodies.

It is in line with this initiatives that the current administration of Dr (Mrs.) P.O. Idogho decided to pursue vigorously a digital literacy campaign within the school that has produced a lee-way for blended learning, a pedagogical approach that combines the effectiveness and serialization opportunities of the classroom with the technologically enhanced active learning possibilities of the multi-media and online environment.

At the inception of her assumption of office in 2008, the Management under the able headship of Dr (Mrs.) P.O. Idogho conducted an assessment survey of staff and students on computer and digital literacy, through the Academic Planning Unit. The survey revealed that only about 20% of staff and 18% of students are ICT efficiently literate with the bulk of these percentages coming from Computer and Statistics departments of the school of Applied Sciences and Office technology management of School of Business Studies. On the whole, over half of the staff and students expressed phobia for information technology. With this dismal report, series of consultative fora on the need for computer literacy, I.T. driven administration and learning were held with the students, academic board , staff welfare associations and alumni in the Polytechnic. These consultation was necessary in order to elicit participation, willingness and synergy in launching effective ICT orientation in the school. The result was positive in that staff and students as well as other corporate entities expressed willingness to ICT literacy oriented environment and learning.

4.0 INVENTORY, POLICIES AND INITIATIVES FOR ICT COMPETENCY IN
AUCHI POLYTECHNIC.

Stock was taken of what the Institution have and what needed to be augmented. It was identified that there was dire need for human resource training, procurement of I.T- based equipments, intra-net and internet facilities, constant electric power supply and accommodation.

In order to overcome these constraints, the Management entered into partnership with UNESCO (TVET), Afri Bank, and intercontinental bank and Education Trust Fund (ETF) to launch the skill development initiative scheme (SDIS). In this programme, 250 members of staff were trained on ICT appreciation and proficiency course under the Millennium Development Goals scheme. Afterwards, another ICT course for 500 members of staff was organized to enable the use and deployment of information technology. Through the ETF sponsorship some staff were sent to Malaysia to train on specialized IT discipline and through the Academic Planning Unit, computer application was introduced as a basic course in all departments. Computer was made a core subject as admission requirement in some departments. Successful persons were awarded competency-based certificates issued by the training consortia after the in-house training and orientation. This approach was cheaper for the school than sending staff on distant training.

In terms of ICT infrastructures and equipments, the school provided 500 laptop computers to staff in partnership with OMATEK computers and Afribank under an agreement that enable staff to pay for 24 – 36 months instalmentally. Those staffs who were not interested in this procurement arrangement were motivated to acquire laptops through a convenient welfare arrangement with any of the Staff Welfare Associations and alumni bodies within the school. This was to ensure that all staff have access to personal computer beside the ones provided by the school management for departments, students and administrative units.

Moreover, the school developed e-learning centers equipped with internet web -TV, Local Area Network (LAN), multimedia, optical character reader, printers, scanner, switching technology intranet, LCD projection panel, modems, discussion centers, digital cameras etc. Access timetable was drawn so that each school and department could make use of the facilities in turn. In view of the pressing demand for the facilities, the management in collaboration with Zenith Bank Plc built another ICT centre that develops instructional media packages (IMPs) for teaching. At present, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has donated another e-learning centre to the school which is under construction. Besides, offices are connected and linked with wireless intra and internet network facilities. I.T- based instructional equipments were procured and managed under the head of the ICT centres. Any staff could loan any of the equipments in need for teaching and research while students have scheduled access to the equipment too.

Some classrooms, halls equipped with video, EPSS system, projectors were expanded and the school procured additional 500 KVA generators and high powered inverters to augment power supply.

5.0 BLENDED LEARNING APPROACH IN AUCHI POLYTECHNIC.

The school only adopted the model of blended learning to enhance teaching, learning and research opportunities in a way that depart from the traditional classroom face-to-face teaching and learning. The approach is such that a lecturer or instructor is supposed to develop, before the beginning of the semester course modules and materials with the aid of audio-visuals, satellite TV, internet etc . This is partly enhanced by the central ICT unit that assists lecturers and instructors on any difficult aspect of course material preparation.

When classes start formally, a course lecturer makes physical classroom contact with the students for introduction and course schedules. CD-ROMs are distributed, or course contents is broadcasted to the laptops of students via infrared or Bluetooth devices. Learning is therefore disaggregated into;

Phase 1:
Lecturer comes to class, introduces the course; use satellite movie programme, VCD, or power point presentation to facilitate presentation for comprehension. Web-related links are offered so that students could check up and utilize those links to broaden their understanding of the presented lecture. Assignments bordering on the web-linkage is given to ensure student independent study. In the event students have difficulty, they could approach the resource persons at the e-learning centres or the course lecturer concerned.

Phase 2:
Students take their turn at the various ICT centers, to search and interact with the internet and explore assigned web-directories for studies. The students have the option to work independently at home elsewhere with their laptops and modem. Assignments given are worked upon and submitted via email to the instructors or lecturer’s assigned mail box. This first phase allows the students to do independent and collaborative studies among themselves, while the lecturer has time to research development and administrative duties.

Phase 3:
This period comes after the mid semester depending on the academic calender where discussion classes are held between instructor/lecturers and students. This phase is most interesting where students sometimes contribute more than the experience of their lecturer because of wide and varied experience on the web. This experience sometimes is used to improve on their soft copies of lectures in CD-Rom presented earlier in the semester. Those students, who were unable to flow along, would broaden their understanding at this point. On this informed basis, assignment are assessed and scored for continuous assessment. The MIS unit thereafter is responsible for processing results for Academic board’s approval.

6.0 GAINS AND BENEFITS OF ICT BLENDED LEARNING TO AUCHI POLYTECHNIC.

The application of our modified version of blended learning has so many gains and benefits that impact on the student, teachers, and institution, although not without challenges. Some of the challenges include computer and internet access, limited knowledge in the use of certain I.T facility, study skills and power supply failure.

In our experience, we have consistently despite the constraints found high levels of student and staff satisfaction, student learning outcomes that are higher than comparable face-to-face traditional methods of teaching, and high student input because of the flexibility and convenience. One of the benefits to students is the increase in student (and extensively lecturers) information literacy, providing students with paradigms and abilities that benefit them throughout their academic and employment careers. For instance, students can conduct virtual explorations, simulations and participate in more real-world experiences. Besides, through information technology there has been greater avenue for interaction amongst students and between teachers and students. Of importance is that registration could be done on-line instead of the space-oriented campus registration. Also, on campus laboratories and virtual student- support mechanisms for receiving help when needed proved beneficial.

On the part of the lecturers, blended learning helps them online as designers of active learning environment, thus becoming much more facilitative in their teaching. Just as students have to relearn how to learn, lecturers have to learn how to teach. This phenomenon leads lecturers to modify their personal professional approaches and theories of teaching. It also created a forum for mentoring and the exchange of effective pedagogical practices.
The experience also revitalizes lecturer research interest by giving them more time and access to information that help them test existing models and theories. Lecturers now use websites and e-mail to post class schedules, assignment requirement and other communication with students and colleagues. Recent survey results shows that over 68% of both staff and students are now ICT compliant.

Blended learning also benefits the institution by improving the efficiency of classroom use and reducing on-campus traffic and associated needs for spaces. Auchi Polytechnic has a compact and constraint site that make expansion difficult. The highest benefit to management is that vast amounts of data can also be stored and processed quickly and efficiently especially about students particularly their results. Huge costs on paper works for minutes of meeting, admission etc are now saved.

As I present this paper, I want to state that a new school of communication and information technology has just been created and approved by the academic board on the recommendation of the academic planning unit.This is made up of the old departments of statistics, computer science, office technology and management as well as mass communication. This is to further boost ICT in Auchi Polytechnic.

7.0 CONCLUSION.

Blended learning is an evolving phenomenon particularly in Africa, that offers promises for addressing challenges such as access cost, efficiently and timely degree completion. Owing to the newness of this model of learning in higher education, little is known about what makes a successful blended learning experience and this paper provides an overview of success factor in Auchi Polytechnic, though with some constraints.

8.0 RECOMMENDATIONS.

For blended learning to maximize its success, the initiative should be developed in response to community and institutional needs rather than using generic approach. Importantly, institutional building blocks (organizational readiness, sufficient technical resources, motivated feedback channels) should be in place. Students learning maturity and readiness for blended learning with its demands for inadequate learning must be considered.

Finance has been recognized as a major factor in ICT and blended learning. It is therefore also recommended that global and collective funding methods be evolved and institutions in Africa that has keyed into the initiative be assisted financially.

REFERENCES

Dziuban, C. D., Hartman, J. L., S Moska, P. D. (2004). Blended learning.
Research bulletin. Vol. 2004, issue 7 pg 2-12

Graham, C.(2006) Blended learning systems, definitions, current trends
and future direction. In C. Benk and C. Graham (Eds). The handbook of blended learning: Global perceptive, local designs. San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons.

Heinze, A and Procter, C. (2004). “Reflections on the use of
Blended Learning.
”http://www.ece.salford.ac.uk/proceedings/papers/ah_04.rtf.

Stacey, E. and Gerbic, P. (2008). Success factors for blended learning,
In Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology? Proceedings ascilite Melborne2.http://www.ascilite.org.an?conferences/mlbourne08/process/Stacey.pdf

Tinio, V. L. (2003). http://
http://www.apdip.net/publications/iespprimers/eprimer-
edu.pdf. Last visited 4th November, 2010.

UNESCO, (2002). Information and Communication Technology in
Education: A curriculum for schools and Programme of Teacher development. UNESCO

Vanghan, N. (2007). Perspective on blended learning in higher education.
International Journal on E- learning. 6(1), 81-94.

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