According to Namadi Sambo, Nigerian universities must refocus on building of graduates that will create and end poverty among the people and ultimately close the wide social inequality and promote social coefficient in the communities.
“As a nation, we must focus our educational system to one that shifts to prepare our students in different skills set; the one that empowers and creates job, rather for low pay jobs that has no value for nation building in the competitive world.
“We must pay attention on building skilled graduates that can provide jobs not only for themselves, but for others.
“No doubt, Igbinedion University must set the pace for providing value adding education in line with global best practice,” he said.
Sambo linked the prevailing insecurity in the country to the massive job deficit, which he said had translated to the increase in poverty and restiveness among the youth.
He described as apt and timely the theme of the matriculation lecture: “Refocusing Value Driven Education in the Digital Age Through the Lens of Entrepreneurship, Enterprise and Global Competitiveness: Lessons for Nigeria”.
He said there was no better time to discuss value driven education in a vast changing world that shifts its focus on skills set demand than now.
“With the disruption in world economy due to COVID-19 pandemic and continuous search for job opportunities across the globe particularly in Africa, our education system must be value driven,” said the erstwhile governor of Kaduna state.
He however commended Igbinedion University for its continuing partnership with renowned actors and global players in the Information and Communication Technology such as CISCO Academy, Microsoft Academy, Mikrotik and Huawei, among others.
This, he said, was in line with the university policies in digital literacy and setting standards by producing change agents and job creators instead of job seekers.
“I am also aware that this university has been adopted by the NUC as a model for a nationwide entrepreneurial skill acquisition programme for Nigerian universities.
“This great effort of this institution deserves the support of all and sundry especially at this critical time that high unemployment rate continuous to pose greater challenges to our existence as a nation.
Sambo urged the new students to make their parents and this great nation proud by dedicating their precious time and effort to study, advising them to take advantage of the conducive settings and standards provided by the institution.
The Guest Speaker, Mr Justice Derefaka, stressed the need for the Nigerian education system to respond to the global change.
Derefaka, the Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said that Nigeria was ranked low in graduates with requisite skills, experience and knowledge required by employing industries.
Nigeria, he said, needed to adopt strategies in educational reform to pick race with the accelerated technological changes by closing gaps and infuse a methodology and selection of instructional materials on curriculum for retainer system.
He corroborated the position of the former vice president that Nigerian students must be prepared well for the future in the area of creative thinking on how to create jobs rather than searching for white collar jobs.
Earlier, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, the Vice-Chancellor of the premier private university in Nigeria, said that the institution has continued to champion higher education revolution through innovation, entrepreneur and research since its establishment 22 years ago.