Private sector must partner varsities to produce employable graduates ― First Bank CEO

THE Chief Executive Officer (CEO), First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr Adesola Adeduntan has called on stakeholders in both private sector and universities in Nigeria to work together and produce the type of graduates the country requires for economic growth and development.

Adeduntan made this disclosure on Thursday while speaking at the second edition of the University of Ibadan and the First Bank of Nigeria Ltd career fair 2019 edition, held at the International conference centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

The career fair event gives organisations spanning diverse industries and sectors are given the opportunity to engage the exceptional talented final year students of the university.

This year’s edition is themed “the entrepreneurial mindset and the future of work”, featured series of activities like the discussion on the entrepreneurial mindset and the future of work, meeting your financial needs with FBN lifestyle products, digital innovation and session on personal branding and marketing yourself.

The discussion panel had three panellists; deputy hive chancellor, University of Ibadan, research, innovation and strategic partnership, Professor Olanike Adeyemo, Group Head, HCMD, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Rosie Ebe-Arthur and Chief Executive Officer, EdgeEcution.

Dr Adeduntan said economic growth and development of Nigeria through the development of manpower, is about solving the problem and must be taken seriously by all the stakeholders.

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His words, “the gown-university, have a role to play which is to impact knowledge.

“The industry also needs to partner with universities to ensure that we produced the type of graduates we require for economic growth and development.

“And that is where we come in as the first bank, we have been in existence for 125 years, what we said is that we’ve been woven into the fabric of the society. And we actually meant the word we are woven into the fabrics of the society, because, for us, it’s about keen with all relevant parties and with other private sectors to stimulate economic growth.

“And for you to have economic growth, human capital is a key part of that. For us, what we’re doing today is contributing our quota to enhancing the quality of manpower that is available within the country.

“Our plan is to replicate this model in other universities in other geo-political zones because we are a national icon, with 125 years of existence and we want to give something back to society. But for us, working with the university to enhance the quality of manpower that is available to the country is paramount in our business strategy.”

In his speech, the vice-chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka, affirmed that “it is obvious that certificate is no longer enough post University; the world of work requires skills such as creativity, critical thinking, complex problem-solving skill, entrepreneurial thinking and mindset, cognitive flexibility as well as the ability to work in a team, emotional intelligence and ability to participate in projects and tasks within a team setting.”

He assured that the institution has commenced “revamping curricula as well as providing opportunities for students to acquire the necessary soft skills towards gainful employment.”

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