*Insists Skills Acquisition, Entrepreneurship should be injected
By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
A member of the National Assembly, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has called on the federal government to embark on holistic reworking of the country’s education curricular from primary to tertiary cadres to inject skills and entrepreneurship that will promote productivity and also revitalise the ailing economy.
Bamidele, who is the Senator representing the Ekiti Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly in Abuja, expressed worries over the alarming increase in the level of joblessness and youth restiveness that is prevailing in all the geopolitical zones in the country.
The lawmaker also urged the Federal Government to extend funding to private universities running entrepreneurial Studies across the nation to make their graduates financially self-reliant.
Opeyemi Bamidele, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, however disagreed with the existing template, whereby such funding was being limited to public universities, emphasising that intervention of this kind should include both public and private ivory towers offering Entrepreneurial Studies as a course.
The Senator described this as a functional remedial action that can perfectly address the joblessness and poverty in the country.
Bamidele, the Chairman, Southern Senators’ Forum, made the call at Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State, at the weekend, while being decorated with the honourary Doctor of Public Administration by the Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), in recognition of his exemplary and enigmatic services to the nation.
The Federal lawmaker added that the priority placed on entrepreneurship by JABU, underscored its unshaken commitment to abate the cankerworms of unemployment and poverty that are ravaging the country and having resonating effects like kidnappings, killings and internet fraud.
He added that the awardees are proud to associate with JABU’s outstanding and unique status as one of the fastest growing faith-based universities in Nigeria, coupled with its leading role in entrepreneurship training .
Bamidele stated that for the vision of making Nigeria a nation that can protect the rights of citizens and boost their potentials, that government at all levels must show interest in how universities prosecute their entrepreneurial studies, to add traction to human capital development.
Proffering solution to the seemingly problem of youth unemployment and the attendant multifaceted crises, Bamidele said: “To this end, I implore the Federal Government to encourage all public and private universities that are currently engaging in entrepreneurship studies by extending the TETFUND benefits and privileges to them.
“This is to enable them admit and train more students in line with global standards. Also, as the nation’s private sector and the innovative industry is getting repositioned for us to build a more expansive economy, the Government should urgently create more enabling legal regime and infrastructural environment for business and creativity to thrive better in Nigeria”.
Bamidele applauded JABU for placing high premium on promotion of self employment among its graduates, saying this has distinguished it as a citadel of learning with focus and clairvoyance for excellence .
The priority your university attaches to entrepreneurship training is indeed, an eloquent testimony to the depth of the vision, wealth of experience and the magnitude of exposure of the founding fathers of this university.
“It is a demonstration of their ability to see ahead and readily admit that the greatness of our future as a nation largely depends on the extent to which our youth can create wealth through the deployment of their diverse skills and innovative ideas.
“Apart from helping to curb the menace of massive unemployment among our graduates and young school leavers, it also gives them the capacity to gainfully earn income, become financially self-reliant and even create job opportunities for others.
“All over the world,it is no longer realistic for Governments to provide white collar jobs for all the young graduates from the universities, polytechnics, technical colleges and other tertiary institutions
“The contemporary trend is that Governments are seriously looking for ways to prune down the cost of governance and are taking bold measures to replace humans with high tech machines and artificial intelligence.
“The new wave of technological revolution and the attendant emergence of digital economies around the globe is a pointer to the fact that nations that are determined to survive must prioritize the impartation of innovative knowledge and technical skills in their young people.
“You will agree with me that this is the secret and the real strength of the Asian tigers for which the rest of the world have continued to adore them today.
“To attain a similar feat in Nigeria nay Africa, our policy makers and state actors must prioritize entrepreneurship training by ensuring that our educational curriculum from the primary to tertiary levels incorporates the development of technical skills, creative innovation, digital education, problem-solving skills, and the impartation of managerial capacity as well as interpersonal relationship development”.
Bamidele lauded the JABU’s Management for the award conferment , saying this would catalyse him do more in promoting the country further in all his public engagements .
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Olaosebikan Alade Fakolujo, praised Bamidele for his contributions to humanity as a public servant and Human Rights Lawyer.
Prof. Fakolujo urged the federal lawmaker to sustain the tempo of exemplary leadership that had distinguished him as one public servant with love and panache for good governance to help in bringing Nigeria out of the current precarious and debilitating status.