The lesson to learn in this story is that ‘we should not let our weak background to put our backs on the ground’.
|Adeyemo Kazeem (R) And Mother (L), During A Photo Session With The Osun Governor, Rauf Aregbesola|
Adeyemo Kazeem (L), Governor Rauf Aregbesola (R), VC Osun State University, Professor Oguntola Jelili Alamu (M).
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Aregbesola Tasks Universities on Entrepreneurial Skills Acquisition, Says it Remains Panacea to Unemployment…As he Charges Students Unionism on war Against Academic vices
By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo
The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has charged the leadership of the nation’s universities and other tertiary institutions to wake up from slumber in devoting and investing more resources in teaching and learning of entrepreneurship, vocational and technical courses.
He also tasked the leadership of the National University Commission, NUC to act as a matter of urgency the need to map out necessary strategies and as well formulate policies that would expand the platform of teaching and learning of technical education across the nation’s universities.
Governor Aregbesola gave the charge while addressing people during the combined 4th and 5th convocation ceremonies for the award of first degrees and presentation of prizes of the Osun State University.
Aregbesola who lamented over the current economic challenges in the country with the greater effects on the states revenues from the Federation Accounts, said Nigeria has gotten to a stage where government could hardly generate employment for Nigerian graduates who are churning out en masse from the nation’s tertiary institutions.
Aregbesola however attributed the decadence in education to what he regarded as palpable negligence on the part of government, which according to him has resulted to brain drainage in both entrepreneurial and technical knowledge among the students of tertiary institutions.
He called on government at various levels to develop the required interest by investing hugely in all forms of technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills, which according to him remains the realistic solutions to the current unemployment trends in the country.
Governor Aregbesola disclosed that the major challenges facing the nation was as a result of alarming rate of unemployment, which he said could only be curbed if government was ready to commit more resources on courses that can encourage self-independence and self-sustainance between and among the youths.
He said the only way to rescue the nation out of its present economic crisis is for every Nigerian to think beyond the revenues from the crude oil, while also there is a need for government to shift attention to non-oil resources to develop the nation.
Aregbesola who lamented over the dwindling revenues to the state, said over dependence on crude oil was the major contributory factor that led the entire nation to stagnation, hence calls for the need to focus more on other revenue to sustain the economy of the nation.
He assured his administration’s commitment to pay adequate attention to an improved agricultural sector; solid mineral resources, industrial and technological advancements, pledging to remain resolute towards the provision of modern facilities to aid non-oil sectors.
Governor Aregbesola said his administration has already intensified efforts to overcome the present economic hardship, just as he is striving to turn around the economy of the state for the betterment of all.
Aregbesola who promised to continuously invest in education, said his government has received countless accolades and encomiums for prioritizing education in the state.
He described education as the only sustainable legacy that could bequeath from one’s parents, therefore charged the graduating students to apply the acquired skills in transforming and developing their various communities and nation at large.
“Nigeria has reached a stage where every Nigerian is expected to join a vanguard of being self-employed, self-independent and economically self-reliant as the resources available had dwindled to the extent of being incapable to generate massive employment for the jobs seeking Nigerians.
“When I checked this morning, the last selling price of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude was $32.34. This practically means that an end has come to the era of dependence on oil for sustenance for the states and the Federal Government.
“This is a mortal threat for the survival of the entire governmental system, except, of course, we are able to transit to non-oil dependent mode of economic production.
“We can ask again how prepared are our universities in providing leadership for this transition by preparing their students for a self-reliant post-graduation life and guiding society with the ideas and philosophy of change, science, technology, finance and entrepreneurship for new but viable areas like solid minerals, agriculture, manufacturing and medium and small scale Information and Communication Technology.
“For the new graduates, the challenges we face at the moment presents both boom and doom. It depends on what you can make out of it. What you get eventually is what you make out of it.
“There will be very few jobs waiting at the private sector, especially those that live on government patronage. If however, you are able to reach inside of you, tap the divine energy deposited inside you and combine it with the knowledge and skills you have acquired in this school, you will be a star and the sky will not even be your limit.
“Dwindling oil prices will be accompanied with dwindling revenues from the Federation Account. It means more states will be under stress of paying workers salaries and many are already being tempted to consider right-sizing their workforce to fit their revenue profile.
“This automatically rules out public sector jobs for new graduates at this moment.
“While this may sound disheartening, it is also an indication of new opportunities in other sectors of the economy for the wise and discerning.
“This is a great opportunity for fresh graduates to look into since every challenge presents new opportunities.
“The challenge ahead will require new thinking, creativity, hard work and relentlessness. It will also be fulfilling and rewarding for those with foresight and can seize the momentum because It is regrettable that the three tiers of government in Nigeria couldn’t bold of securing employment for the teeming unemployed graduates.
“To put an end to this menace, our youths especially the undergraduates must develop keen interest in entrepreneurship and technical knowledge in order for them to be self-independent and as well become the employers of labour.
“Government at various level also need concentrate more resources on quality education most importantly technical and entrepreneurial education to liberate the unemployed graduates from the yolk of perpetual unemployment”, Aregbesola stressed.
Governor Aregbesola who also lamented over the continuous declination in the nation’s universities virtues, said the adverse effect had reduced drastically the quality of graduates graduating from the tertiary institutions in the country.
He said universities are clear leaders for high level manpower training for all aspects of life, from theology to space travel, reiterating that the annual Nobel Prizes awarded for breakthroughs in different areas of scholarship is a clear indication of the leadership of universities.
He said, “Our universities are primarily suffering from the crisis of mission. While they may have beautifully crafted mission statement, in practice, they are giving the impression that their raison d’etre is to admit students and award certificates to them at the end of their studentship.
“The question to ask then is: how impactful on our society and governance have these institutions been? We are daily beset with life threatening challenges in wars, hunger, diseases that are defying medical solutions, homelessness and just anything imaginable off course, it could have been worse.
Governor Aregbesola also bemoaned over the way and manner at which students unionism is being used to frustrate and hamper the smooth academic running of the nation’s tertiary institutions, which he said could have been better-off if it centres on academic vices that have become order of the day in various academic environments in the country.
The Governor who further described as worthless, the current practice of unionism among the students of tertiary institution which according to him had failed to wage legal war against all vices on campuses across the nation.
According to him, “a variant of this is virulent unionism which has clearly overshadowed the elitism of university as an institution that eats, drinks and breathes ideas.
“We have unionism for privileges and rights, but no unionism for vision articulation or extermination of vices like mediocrity, examination and admission racketeering, gangsterism, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment and sexual assault.
“The universities are underfunded. They rely mostly on subventions from their proprietors. Yet, there is nowhere in the world where a good university lives only on subvention.
“One of the disingenuous ways to fill the gap is to charge exorbitant tuition fees. While tuition is universal, it is lazy and unimaginative to make this the basis for generating revenues to sustain a university.
“Universities must learn also to generate revenues through endowments and creative revenue yielding ideas in patents, copyrights and so on”, he added.
Earlier, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Osun State University, Professor Obafemi Ajibola commended Governor Aregbesola for promoting the evolution of the University into a world-class institution of higher learning.
Professor Ajibola remarked that the government of Osun under the watch of Governor Aregbesola has done a wonderful job of providing for the University since inception.
He said the state government has been keeping in mind the enormous requirements of the institution especially its multi-campus nature, the need for rapid infrastructural development on all its campuses and the need to make the University education relevant and affordable for the youths of the state and beyond.
Professor Ajibola also hinted that the state has performed excellently in providing the financial support to the University, which according to him has contributed significantly to the infrastructural development of the six campuses.
Professor Ajibola said the University has been running smoothly, peacefully and in the best tradition of academic pursuit, just as he expressed satisfaction in the fact that the graduates of the University are well prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future, promising that the council will not relent in its efforts at ensuring sustainable stability and growth of all aspects of the University by promoting both moral and social status in the quality of graduates churning out of the institution.
He pledged that the school would not in any way relent in its frantic efforts at producing the qualified graduates that would be of good ambassadors and pacesetters in the entire world.
He acknowledged the current economic situation in the country which he said has posed significant challenges for the University in its quest to be a centre of excellence, saying a University requires significant resources to create a conducive teaching and learning environment.
He however called on the management of the institution to maintain the tempo of development, just as he vowed to continuously build on the peaceful co-habitation between and among the management and students of the institution.
He promised on an improved revenues for the University which he said it remains the lubricant to grease the wheel of the institution.
“Our University is now on a stage in which it needs to start working towards generating a significant proportion of its financial requirements without making University education the preserve of the rich and at the same time improve the quality of instruction and research.
“We will ensure that we use the intellect and skills available within members of this University community to device ways of improving our Internally Generated Revenues, minimizing waste, eliminating fraud and inefficiency and at the same time improving the quality of teaching and learning in the University”, Professor Ajibola added.
He therefore congratulated the graduands for being found worthy in both learning and character, just as he charged them to be a source of pride to the institution.
In his remarked, the Vice Chancellor, Osun State University, Professor Oguntola Jelili Alamu commended Governor Aregbesola for his sterling quality, astute, passion, dedication and unwavering commitment to quality education.
According to him, “Governor Aregbesola’s commitment in education has enhanced the quality academic pursuit of the University which has also culminated into academic innovations, skill-based training and tradition of excellence in teaching, research and community service under a very peaceful atmosphere.
Professor Aremu hinted that the convocation marks the beginning of a new dawn, as it laced with an epoch making installation of a female Chancellor for the University as well as production of first set of Law graduates.
Professor Aremu expressed delight in the fact that the graduates of the University have ceased to make the school proud in all academic and social endeavours as First Class products of the institution are completing their postgraduate programmes with distinction in foreign universities.
He disclosed further that the institution has for the combined 4th and 5th convoctions, awarded first degrees to three thousand, one hundred and sixty-four (3164) students from six colleges.
He also revealed that 51 students had graduated with first class distinction in the combined 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 academic sections’ convocation.
Prof. Alamu who expressed delight over the number of students who graduated with first class distinction in the university, boasting that the University was leading in production of qualified minds and hands among its peers in the country.
According to the VC, “in 2015, Olojido Oluwatoyin Esther bagged distinction in M.Sc. Accounting and Finance from Leed University, while Odesanmi Oluwatosin Racheal also came with distinction in M.Sc. Analytical Chemistry from Loughborough University”.
He stressed that the testimony was a fulfillment of the global competitiveness of their graduates, enshrined in the vision of the University.
Professor Alamu who extolled the virtues of the university however disclosed that most of the graduates of the institutions have been trained in various entrepreneurial skills which he said would enhance them aftermath of the graduation, the need for them to be self- independent.
He said the institution has trained the graduating students on entrepreneurship, technical and vocational skills acquisition, saying henceforth, the graduates of the institution would be collecting two certificates – the Bachelors’ degree Certificate and Entrepreneurship skills certificate at the end of every convocation.