‘Graduates should learn employable skills before graduation’

UNDERGRADUATES currently pursuing various degrees in Nigerian universities have been advised to maximise the opportunity of entrepreneurship skills available in higher institutions to start their own businesses after graduation.

The call was made by a former vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Olufemi Bamiro, while delivering the first convocation lecture of Augustine University, Ilara-Epe, Lagos State, recently.

Bamiro, in his lecture entitled ‘The Nigerian University System and the Challenge of Producing Employable Graduates in a Depressed Economy’, declared that it is imperative for both the universities and graduates in the country to find a synergy in tackling the high rate of employment by tapping into the opportunity provided by entrepreneurship training available in the current curriculum.

Represented by a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Ibadan, Professor Segun Olugbenga Adedeji, Bamiro 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.

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Suggesting a way out of the situation, Bamiro said it had become increasingly crucial for graduates to cultivate qualities most sought after by potential employers.

He said, “Our students must 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 businesses, 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 them in First Class,13 in Second Class (upper division),11 in Second Class (lower division) 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 and employable ambassadors of the university and the Catholic education they have received.

The Augustine University was established by the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, with its takeoff approved on March 25, 2015 by the National Universities Commission (NUC), while academic activities commenced on November 30, 2015.

Nigerian Tribune