Former executive secretary of the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola, has said that entrepreneurial training must be made compulsory for all students of tertiary institutions to reduce graduate unemployment in the country.
Okebukola, who is also the director, Centre for Human Security, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, said this at an entrepreneurial training programme organised for unemployed graduates in collaboration with Kwara State University in Ilorin.
He said authorities of Nigerian universities have been asked to make entrepreneurship compulsory for all graduates, hoping that in few years to come, the measure would have prepared graduates for entrepreneurship towards moving Nigeria forward.
Director in the Obasanjo Library also said that Nigerian graduates are largely unemployable because they are not well trained in their various disciplines while in their various universities.
“In the employment market in Nigeria and rest of the world, the chances of getting employed or being self-employed are higher if you are well trained. But if you are trained in wishy-washy manner, then the chances are reduced.
“So, what we have asked our universities to do is to make entrepreneurship compulsory for all graduates. Also, for better quality graduates, our universities are taking steps to improve delivery of the curriculum of all subjects,” he said.
Professor Okebukola, who said curricula were not being delivered because of poor facility, added that need assessment survey had confirmed it and that government was already addressing it.
He said series of workshops by the Centre had been designed to train 40,000 unemployed graduates over the next four years at different locations in the country, adding that the efforts would complement those of government and non-governmental agencies to reduce unemployment in Nigeria to the barest minimum.
“Unemployment is perhaps one of the greatest epidemics plaguing development in Nigeria and indeed Africa. President Obasanjo has been concerned and mobilising other world leaders about this ticking time-bomb,” he said.