OUR YOUTHS NEED ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS TO SURVIVE IN TODAY’S WORLD
His desire to participate in policy formulation and implementation rather than teaching people how to do things, made him to leave the academia for the civil services many year ago. Today, even those who do not agree with his disciplined and pragmatic approach to public service delivery cannot deny the fact that tis proficient engineer with passion for entrepreneurial development is not only making impact in the Nigerian civil service, he has continued to play critical roles in the development of young engineers.
A 1984 Mechanical Engineering graduate from the University of Ilorin, Engr. Ozigi started his career as a lecturer at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi before he joined the Ahmadu Bello University where he rose to the position of lecturer 1 before he left for the civil service in 1993. Coming with a determination to apply his engineering qualification and experience for the betterment of the civil service, he worked at the Federal Ministry of Interior as an Assistant Comptroller of Immigration in charge of Works and logistics. Many of his peers could have been satisfied with what Engr. Ozigi was doing, but his passion for human capacity development influenced his decision to join the then newly established SMEDAN as a Assistant Director. The exceptional civil servant who had since rose to become a Director in the agency had contributed immensely to nation building: he chaired the committees for the artisanal production of LPG cookers in 2009 and the design and fabrication of modified rotary dryer at the Science Equipment Development Institute, Enugu in 2006. He has also been a member of the Presidential Standing Committee on Innovation and Inventions from 2005 till date. Apart from these, the experienced public servant served as a member of the Resources Inspection Team for the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE to some polytechnics in Nigeria. He also served as a resource person in COREN accreditation visits to the Engineering Faculty of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti in 2014 and the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna in 2015.
Explaining how he has been combining his civil service work with his engagements in different educational and professional bodies, the hardworking professional said: “It is all about diligence, the ability to prioritize ones activities and the desire to serve. In fact, I still render service as an examiner for COREN. If I consider the financial gain I will be discourage, but the contribution I have been making for the betterment of the teachings and practice of engineering is enough to give me the satisfaction I needed”.
Apart from his bachelor degree, Engr. Ozigi who has a Maters degree in Production Engineering from Ahamadu Bello University has been an active member of many professional bodies. These include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Institute of Entrepreneurs, Association of Business Specialists and Entrepreneurs, International Council for Small Business and International Institute of Leadership and Government. He is also a recipient of Global Peace and Good Governance Award.
On the need for entrepreneurial skills by the youths, he said: “Today we have graduates of over five years who are still looking for employment. It is now important for the unemployed youths to start thinking of how they can start and manage small businesses of their own. SMEDAN has been giving entrepreneurship and managerial trainings. Our youths need more than certificates to succeed in today’s world, they need to acquire practicable skills and entrepreneurial knowledge”.
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