The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has called on the universities in Nigeria to be more proactive in ensuring that their graduates are employable.
He said many Nigerian graduates were being described as unemployable by some employers of labour, saying this was worrisome to his regime.
Buhari stated this at the 31st Convocation of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, on Saturday.
He was represented by Dr Suleiman Yusuf, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
According to him, the present regime considered education as the cornerstone of national development with universities as the pinnacle of education, “being the engine of knowledge generation and dissemination.”
He said, “In today’s globalised knowledge economy in which the wealth, strategic importance and ranking of any country in the comity of nations is determined largely by its knowledge economy index, my expectation is that our universities will use the instrumentality of their tripartite mandates of teaching, research and community engagement to launch Nigeria into an enviable position among nations of the world.
“In this regard, government expects Nigerian universities to produce graduates imbued with the requisite knowledge, competencies, attitudes, and skills to be active role players in our quest for socio-economic and technological development.
“I expect universities to pay serious attention to the less than complimentary assessment of the graduates of our universities by employers of labour. Definitely, we can not be comfortable when products of our citadels of learning are being described as ‘unemployable’, exhibiting lack of job-readiness and so on.”
Major General Buhari (retd.) noted that issues of graduate employability and skills are pertinent issues gaining tractions nationally and internationally and are prominent on the front burners of discourse on higher education and the future of work.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Joseph Fuwape, urged the graduating students to remain focused and diligent in order to occupy the prime positions of leadership in the country.