Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, on Monday, delivered a lecture to mark the 75th anniversary of the University of Ibadan (UI).
The Governor noted that most of the graduates produced by universities across the country are less able to compete in terms of skills for the highly competing requirements of the labour market.
Professor Zulum delivered the first in a series of lectures organised to commemorate the University of Ibadan’s 75th anniversary titled “Leadership, Citizenship and Meeting Contemporary Social Justice in Nigeria”.
The Governor delved into the prevailing challenge of graduates experiencing a mismatch between their acquired skills and the requirements of the labour market.
He also highlighted the implications of this mismatch, including high unemployment rates, underemployment and reduced productivity.
The Governor stressed that addressing this issue is crucial for sustainable economic growth and the reduction of poverty in Nigeria.
Governor Zulum emphasized the importance of universities in shaping the future workforce of the country and the need for their continuous adaptation to meet the demands of the evolving labour market.
“Our universities need to do more in the area of research and linking research to industries that can translate ideas into solutions that can be sold within and outside the shores of our nation. We must consider restructuring our university system to become centres of production of ideas and solutions that can attract industrial-scale investments”, Zulum said.
The Governor cited the rapid technological advancements, changing industry needs, and the inadequacy of curricula in many tertiary institutions.
He however emphasized the significance of practical skills, such as entrepreneurship and vocational training in empowering graduates and those who could not attend formal education to navigate the labour market successfully.
Drawing from his experiences in Borno State, Governor Zulum noted that to address the problems of unemployment and youth restlessness, his administration has built five new mega-size Vocational Training Institutes alongside 19 smaller Technical and Vocational Training Institutes across Borno State in 5 years.
Zulum also challenged citizens to imbibe the spirit of patriotism while holding those in the position of leadership accountable.
“I want to encourage the citizens of this great country that while things take time, we all have a responsibility to show leadership in whichever sphere,” Zulum said.
In his address, the host, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode Adebowale, commended the Governor for his stride and for identifying with the university.
Governor Zulum was accompanied by Borno State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engr. Bawu Musami, Principal Secretary to the Governor, Barrister Mustapha Ali Busuguma, and some senior officials of Borno State Government. Also on the Governor’s entourage were officials of the Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers which includes its National Chairman, Engr Professor Folarin Alonge, Prof Babagana Muhammed of the Agricultural Engineering Department of the University of Maiduguri and Prof Faborode, President of the Pan African Association of Agricultural Engineers among others.