UNDERGRADUATES currently pursuing various degrees in Nigerian universities have been called upon to learn and maximise the opportunity of entrepreneurship skills made available in higher institutions to start their own businesses after graduation.
This was the view of the former vice-chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Olufemi Bamiro, while delivering the first convocation lecture of Augustine University, Ilara-Epe, Lagos State, on Thursday.
Bamiro, in his lecture titled “The Nigerian University system and the challenge of producing employable graduates in a depressed economy” declared that it is imperative for both the universities in the country and graduates to find a synergy in tackling the high rate of employment in the country by tapping into the opportunity provided by entrepreneurship training available in the current curriculum.
Represented by a Professor in the mechanical engineering at the University of Ibadan, Professor Segun Olugbenga Adedeji, he said “most of the programmes run in the universities are irrelevant to the needs in the socio-economic space of our nation-state”, adding that “university lecturers have failed to update themselves on new pedagogies to meaningfully transmit knowledge.”
Suggesting a way out of the situation, Bamiro noted that “a high cumulative grade point average (CGPA) resulting in an excellent class of degree is undoubtedly desirable as a measure of intellectual capacity; but the aptitudes and attitudes of job seekers are equally, if not more, important to employees. It is, therefore, becoming increasingly crucial for graduates to cultivate qualities most sought after by their potential employers.
“Our students must, therefore, prepare themselves to meet the challenges of a changing world by improving their knowledge and skills to meet the demands of employers and the dynamics of the workplace.
“With the present limited availability of job opportunities in our economy, students are expected to seize the opportunity of the entrepreneurship programme currently being introduced into the university system to develop skills that will help them start their own business, create jobs for themselves and others or be intrapreneurs in employment.”
In his address, the vice-chancellor, Professor Stephen Afolami disclosed that the 32 pioneer graduates of the university; seven of which are in First class,13 in Second Class Upper category,11 in Second Class Lower category and one in Third Class were products of intense investment by all the university workers.
He admonished “the pioneer graduates to keep in mind the lofty ideals of Augustine University and go out there to be good ambassadors of the University and the Catholic education they have received.”
Augustine University Ilara-Epe, Lagos state was established by the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, with its take-off approved on March 25, 2015, by the National University Commission (NUC) while academic activities commenced specifically on November 30, 2015.