Making Nigerian Graduates Employable


The employability of Nigerian graduates reared its head again at the 62nd Foundation  Day and Convocation of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, when President Goodluck  Jonathan urged Nigerian vice-chancellors to evolve a curriculum which will equip the  graduates with employable skills.

The President stated that the evolution of a pragmatic curriculum was necessary to  reduce youth unemployment in the country.

This is not the first time that a highly placed Nigerian will make this observation  or call for the evolution of a curriculum that will make the graduates self  employed. Over the years, as more youths graduated, so did the number of jobs  reduce. As youths passed out of higher institutions of learning, factories were  closing down, yet the population grew at an alarming rate. But then, even the few  jobs that were available suffered because it was difficult to fill the positions as  the available graduates were said to be unemployable.

Early last year, the vice-president, Nigerian Graduate Advancement Programme, Mrs.  Oyidiya Alfred, during an empowerment programme organised to help undergraduates  overcome unemployment, identified unemployability of Nigerian graduates as the cause  of unemployment in the country. She added that the major problem was not  non-availability of jobs but the alarming rate of unemployable Nigerian graduates in  the labour market. She added that a major challenge that employers of labour faced  was human resources.

This is one problem that we have to start battling if we are serious about our  Vision 20:20:20. Everyone knows that the world’s fastest growing economies are being  powered by science and technology, which are also vital to the stimulation of human  capital and skills to transform Nigeria’s economy.

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Mrs. Alfred described unemployability as a situation where an individual lacks the  basic mental, even though he has had formal education, social practical and  developmental skills that will enable him to function effectively at assigned jobs  and handle everyday work challenges.

Nigerian youths must begin to add value to themselves. They must not be lethargic  about development. Youths should expand their information base and go for extra  developmental activities.

We believe tertiary institutions can reverse the trend if they evolve a curriculum  that will make entrepreneurs out of the graduates. Independent graduates can easily  become employers of labour instead of job seekers. But it does not end there. A  successful and fair election in 2011 will ensure stability. This will in turn assure  investors of the safety of their investment. With constant electricity, more jobs  will be created and return on investment higher. Dead industries will be  resuscitated and then we can begin to look towards the Vision 20:20:20.

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