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First Published as University Overhaul Could Fill Employment Gaps
It is unfortunate that in spite of various economic reforms ongoing in the sphere of Nigerian leadership, the nation has remained a major consumer of technological innovation.
Unlike countries that comprise the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and have developed an economic edge, we have a large population that consumes technological gadgets and produces very little in return. Except for the media industry which has successfully produced and transferred elements of our culture through entertainment products that are available online, Nigeria has limited contribution to technological innovation on a global scale.
However, some encouraging works that can address this issue are in progress. It seems that the Nigerian government has now realised the need to change the mindsets of the people from the idea of using opportunities to creating them. Training programmes that are capable of empowering the youth have commenced and efforts to provide financial support to promising ventures are afoot. The government’s focus on unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions in this regard has shown some commendable results.
Now there is another factor that requires the consideration of government. While it is critical to develop as many entrepreneurs as possible, it is impossible for every youth to become an entrepreneur. Some people are not gifted to carry out the functions of an entrepreneur. Even after much training and financial support, it will take more personal effort, for instance, for persons of phlegmatic temperament to really do well in business ventures. In view of this, one would expect that the Nigerian government, through its agencies, would consider the creation of an alternative for persons in this group.
One suggestion would be to restructure our educational syllabus at the university level. Courses such as Zoology, Botany and Archaeology are fantastic and useful to both the academic community and life outside the university. Unfortunately, graduates who major in such courses hardly find any means of employment upon graduation. This is because there is no industry absorbing such inexperienced professionals in the economic sector. Consequently, they have to take additional degrees or scout for the relatively few companies that still offer employment consideration regardless of the applicant’s area of undergraduate study.
Such courses should either be remodelled or scraped by some of the universities offering them, while new and more relevant ones should be developed.....
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