Buhari suggests ways to end unemployment

af president muhammadu buhari x
af president muhammadu buhari x

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for a paradigm shift in the focus and orientation of higher education graduates as a way to address growing unemployment in Nigeria.

The president also suggested a change in curricula that would lay more emphasis on entrepreneurship education and skills acquisition rather than paper qualifications, asking universities to take a lead in developing the new curricula that would help achieve that.

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President Buhari, who was the Visitor at the 11th convocation of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) on Saturday in Abuja praised NOUN for championing the cause of a flexible university education system, thus expanding the window of opportunities for more people to acquire education.

The president, who was represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, David Gender, confirmed that NOUN is delivering on its mandate by taking affordable university education to the doorsteps of Nigerians irrespective of their location, tribe, sex and religion.

‘It is pertinent to restate that the nation’s educational curriculum be geared towards placing emphasis on entrepreneurship education. There must be a paradigm shift in the focus and orientation of our graduates towards employment opportunities. The realisation of this objective lies with our universities to develop new curricula that will lay emphasis on self-employment,’ he stated.

‘It is pleasing to note that the National Universities Commission (NUC) is about to conclude the comprehensive review of the curricula of all programmes in our universities and place a premium on entrepreneurship. This as we all know, is a driver to increase productivity and reduction in unemployment figures among our youths.

‘The Federal Government through various interventions has created the enabling environment in support of this drive. It is our hope that our graduates will utilise these opportunities by embracing all the various programmes that have been put in place.’


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He commended the efforts of NOUN management and the governing council for making sure that government funds released to the university are judiciously utilised in erecting top-class facilities as exemplified by iconic structures on campus while charging the graduands to be good citizens of the country and utilise the various federal government interventions to reduce unemployment.

Vice-Chancellor of the university Prof Olufemi Peters, in his remarks, said a total number of 22,250 students who have passed the prescribed examinations and adjudged worthy in character and learning received their degrees across various disciplines.

‘At the undergraduate level, a total of 16,679 students are graduating, out of which 69 students are in the First-Class division; 4,327 students in the 2nd Class Upper-division; 9,499 students in the Second Class Lower division and 2,700 students in the Third Class division. We also recorded 84 students with pass degrees,’ he said.

The Pro-Chancellor NOUN, Emeritus Prof Peter Okebukola, in his speech said discussions are ongoing to address the age-long discrimination against eligible NOUN graduates to participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the NOUN Act which elevated the legal status and the quality of the delivery system of the institution, saying that it has slightly over 1,500 of its law graduands attending the Nigeria Law School and are performing excellently.

‘Today’s event is momentous, as NOUN graduates over 22,250 students. This is an increase over last year’s figure and we are pleased with the stride the university is making in terms of enrolment. Members of the NOUN Council are very pleased to be part of this success story,’ he said.