Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, says it will henceforth provide start-up capital for the institution’s student-entrepreneurs to ensure the growth and sustainability of their business ideas. Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, disclosed this in Okada, while declaring open the 9th Students’ Product Exhibition and Trade Fair of the university. Over 700 students across various colleges of the university were trained under the entrepreneurship and skill acquisition programme of the institution.
The vice-chancellor said that the students had proven that the idea of skill acquisition was noble, as entrepreneurship had become a trend for survival and sustenance. “Unemployment is becoming embarrassing, with the available statistics. And this is not peculiar to Nigeria, but across the globe, particularly due to economic recession and the effect of the global pandemic.
“Besides, employability of our graduates is another serious concern. Many of the students graduating from various tertiary institutions are not employable,” he said. Ezemonye also noted that some university graduates were underemployed, resulting in some of them engaging in cab driving, with many others getting the job of office secretary and other demeaning jobs. He said that it was in an attempt to stem the tide that entrepreneurship programme was embedded in the university’s curriculum over 10 years ago. According to him, the efforts have become the flagship for other tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The vice-chancellor also said that the school had introduced industry-academia platform through which players in the industry came to talk to academics and students at Master classes.
He said that work-study programme for students had commenced in the school, where the best in the entrepreneurship courses would work for certain hours and paid stipends. In his address of welcome, Dr David Omoghuare, Director, Sir David Osunde Centre for Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition, said the occasion was to demonstrate what the students had learnt during the three- month hands-on entrepreneurship training. According to Omoghuare, over 6,000 students had so far been trained at the centre within 10 years of its establishment.