Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan on Saturday offered a comprehensive recipe on how to deal with the hydra-headed problem of graduate unemployment confronting the country.
Governor Uduaghan, speaking at the maiden Convocation of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro stressed that the curricula of the nation’s institutions of higher learning should be tailored towards producing graduates that would be self employed.
Dr. Uduaghan, who commended the Rector of the institution, Dr. Jacob Oboreh for judiciously deploying the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the school to develop about 30 infrastructural projects under two years, also advocated the inclusion of business studies into the course content of every discipline in institutions of higher learning in the country.
He observed that the problem of graduate unemployment were about 30 million youths are said to be in the labour market in the country was a big challenge that government at the various levels alone could not solve.
According to him, there was the need not just for the training institutions but also for the respective governments to fashion out programmes and policies aimed at producing graduates that would be self reliant.
“So whatever we are doing as a state, our Delta beyond Oil is geared towards how we can engage some of these youths as they come out.
In this development programme, we believe in self employment.
“The challenge is how do we get you (graduands) to become self employed. There is the challenge of educating you not just in your specialty but also how to manage the business and of course there is also the area of funding if you have to be self employed.
“The Delta State Government in our Delta beyond Oil strategy, we have tried and we are getting involved in both areas: in your education and funding for self employment.”
But the governor noted that self employment programmes and initiatives were incomplete without sound knowledge of business management skills.
He therefore urged institutions of higher learning in the country to incorporate business studies into the various disciplines so that graduates would have the acumen to successfully manage their enterprises.
Dr. Uduaghan commended a graduand , Paul Odaji, who in his valedictory address on behalf of his colleagues ,informed the governor that he has started a fisheries on his own, assuring him of the state government’s assistance in fast tracking the business.
Uduaghan commended the rector, whom he christened, “a developer” for judiciously utilising the IGR of the school to develop about 30 infrastructural projects within the space of two years.
The gesture the governor explained has reaffirmed his belief that managements of higher institutions should be allowed to manage their IGR without remittance to the state government.
Prof. Hope Eghagha, the state commissioner for Higher Education in his address had called on institutions of higher learning in the state to key into the government’s Delta beyond Oil programme with a view to producing graduates that would be self reliant, while also commending academic staff of the polytechnic for not joining the strike action by their counterparts across the country.
Oboreh, the Rector reeling out the developmental strides of his administration, commended the governor for the unflinching support and free hands that he has given the management to run the affairs of the school.
Distinguished Nigerians, including the senator representing Delta Central, Chief Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Leo Ogor, Chief Nelson Utieyione, President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, and Chief Solomon Ogba were conferred with honourary fellowship of the institution.