There are lots of opportunities in Nigeria that citizens can tap to improve their economic conditions.
This was according to Dr. Isa Elegbede of the Department of Fisheries at the Lagos State University, who was the Guest Speaker at the annual Professional Day Seminar organized by the Alimosho Professional Group (APG) held today at the Abesan Youth Centre, in Lagos.
Dr Elegbede, while discussing the theme of the seminar, “Unlocking the potentials in Gig and Circular Economy,” said Nigerians are one of the most innovative people in the world, noting however, that various challenges have not allowed the country to leverage this huge potential.
According to him, foreigners are the ones exploring the enormous opportunities in Africa, especially in Nigeria, while Nigerians are running out of the country.
“I spend a lot of time traveling, and I have noticed that at the airports, you have more blacks at the departure lounge while whites are more at the arrival lounge. What is going on? We need to begin to have conversations around the economic opportunities in Nigeria,” he said.
Dr Elegbede, who is also a Blue Economy expert, said Circular Economy entails ability to retain and recover values of items by reusing and repairing them to be able to minimize wastage and protect the environment.
He added that Nigeria, at the moment, does not have a circular economy but what obtains is the reuse economy stage.
A gig economy, on the other hand, is a labour market that relies heavily on temporary and part-time positions filled by independent contractors and freelancers rather than full-time permanent employees.
Dr Elegbede said people have different motivations for exploring the gig economy, some of which include desire for better opportunities, quest to make extra income and inability to find sufficient work through other means.
While gig economy offers flexibility, variety of choices, independence and better work life balance for participants, the irregularity of income, complex taxes, lack of benefits such as pensions and gratuities and health insurance, and fewer connections are some of the disadvantages associated with gig.
He said Nigerians should think outside the box and leverage on the abundant opportunities in the circular and gig economies as government cannot do everything.
During the panel session, the Operations Manager, Gidiburgers, Mrs. Maryam Adekoya-Nurudeen, who is also into freelancing in the gig economy, said freelancing is not a get rich scheme.
“You make your money but you must put in effort. Identify your skills and build on it. Anybody can freelance. Know how to sell yourself and you will get the job, and when you get the job, get it done,” she explained.
Another panelist, Mr. Idris Akano, Lead Developer/Project Manager at Secure Code Limited, advised participants to ensure they have quality values before going into gig economy.
He said “people want money before giving value. Quality will be affected if hunger drives you to do something.”
For the General Manager, Waste Transformer Limited, Mr. Isa Sumonu, to survive in the circular economy one needs a lot of trust.
He added that asking questions can open doors of opportunities.
The panelists, though opened the eyes of the participants to the enormous opportunities in both gig and circular economies, sounded notes of warnings that there are also many challenges inherent.
According to them, it is not all beds of roses but with focus, dedication and commitment, they can make waves.
The annual event witnessed business presentations by various organisations.
The highpoint was the presentation of honorary wards to members of the group who have distinguished themselves in their various professional fields.