By Ikenna Nwokedi
History was made on Tuesday, 21st February 2023 as a book mirroring Igbo Apprenticeship Scheme in Onitsha Markets titled “Igba Boyi” was officially unveiled and launched at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State.
The colourful event held at the ASUU NAU Secretariat witnessed the coming together of the town and gown for the presentation ceremony of the book authored by five scholars, Prof. Nkemdili Au. Nonyelu, Prof. Ezinma Nnabuife, Prof. Chinedu Onyeizugbe, Prof. Rosemary Anazodo and Prof. Blessing Onyima.
In his remarks, the Chief Guest of Honour and Executive Governor of the State, His Excellency Prof. Chukwuma Soludo stated that ‘Igba Boyi’ apprenticeship scheme is a replica of the present administration’s programme geared towards empowering Anambra Youth with ‘One Youth Two Skills’ initiative.
Prof. Soludo who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Commerce, Barr. Chinedu Ike said that the Ministry last week trained 300 people on various skills and would be empowered with necessary equipment to be productive and add value to the system.
He said that the unveiling of the book on ‘Igba Boyi’ concept will aid the administration with its own guidelines that have been put in place.
Governor Soludo thanked the scholars for the research work carried out while promising that Government will partner with the institution.
In his welcome address, UNIZIK Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone, FAS, described the ‘Igba Boyi’ apprenticeship scheme as a model that will add value to the youth of today, Esimone opined that the Igba Boyi scheme which was studied and made public with the launching of the book has an international outlook and projected the institution to the globe.
“The Igba Boyi apprenticeship scheme is of immense value to the youths of today as it has received international endorsement with other top class institutions trying to recreate and consummate what our scholars have researched on.
“This apprenticeship scheme needs to be emulated, the book is a masterpiece, best among equal and carries the identity of the brand of UNIZIK based on the study and the Igbo race as a tribe. I wish to commend the authors led by Prof. Au. Nonyelu and his team for a great job”,
“This is a testimony to the fact that our scholars are hardworking and committed to contributing to societal growth and development,” Esimone said.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Engr. Paul Enidom stated that UNIZIK has proven to be an institution where great insight and innovation are constantl achieved.
The Chief Executive of Paul B Nigeria Ltd described the book on Igba Boyi as a great intellectual effort towards reinventing Igbo Entrepreneurial behaviour.
He informed that there is need to protect and promote the apprenticeship model as well as restore the dignity of revered Igbo man’s wealth creation process and re-direct the youths penchant for wealth without hardwork.
Engr. Enidom also advised that the apprenticeship scheme which is gradually dying and the identity of Ndigbo which is being eroded should be resurrected with the implementation of the findings and proffered solutions in the book.
He also thanked the principal investigator and research team for their consistency, objectivity and discipline.
Reacting also, the Director, Emeka Anyaoku Institute for International Studies and Diplomacy, Prof. Nkemdili Nonyelu stated that the study of Igbo apprenticeship model ‘Igba Boyi’ was apt as it has been an age long practice by Ndigbo and identity of Entrepreneurial spirit.
The Professor of Industrial Relations stated that the book promotes the adoption and sustainability of an indigenous entrepreneurship practice for the development of Africa and making its findings critical to Nigeria’s holistic development.
Prof. Nonyelu revealed that the book will contribute in the aspect of policy making, indigenous entrepreneurship, business management and research.
In the review of the book, ‘Igba Boyi’: A study of the Igbo Apprenticeship Scheme in Onitsha Markets, one of the reviewers and the current President of the Academy of Management Nigeria, Prof. Anayo Nkamnebe recognized that Igba Boyi as an informal enterprise is essential to societal development as the apprenticeship scheme connects with industry, academia and government.
Prof. Nkamnebe opined that Igba Boyi as an entrepreneur incubation system adds to economic value to the nation and serves as an informal business educational system which requires government policy for integration into formal education.
He also highlighted that the book provides practical recommendations for improving the system and ensuring its sustainability, making it a valuable resource for policymakers, scholars, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of entrepreneurship in Nigeria and beyond.
Others who contributed to the review and appraisal of the scheme are Prof. Ogechi Adeola of the Lagos Business School, Dr. Clem Nwogbo of the MP Infrastructure and the former Director General, Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Chief Ikem Odumodu.
Highpoints of the occasion was the official unveiling and launching of the book titled ‘Igba Boyi’: A study of the Igbo Apprenticeship Scheme in Onitsha Markets.’