Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State today decried disconnect between the training Nigeria students are receiving in the higher institutions of learning especially Nigeria universities and training needed to grow the nation’s economy.
Governor Fashola lamented this in Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan (UI) while delivering the institution’s 2012 convocation, tagged, “Framework for Re-Inventing Higher Education for Nigeria’s National Development” to kick start its 64 convocation expected to be concluded next Saturday.
“It is unforgivable therefore if we fail to understand that our economy has changed, and that the training of our human capital must change, not only as a response to the present; but also as a strategic plan to control the future”.
He said, “It is unforgivable therefore if we fail to understand that our economy has changed, and that the training of our human capital must change, not only as a response to the present; but also as a strategic plan to control the future”.
Calling for the immediate determination of the type of future the nation desired, he noted that if the country is able to define her roles correctly and indentify the problems properly, it would not be difficult to develop an education framework that would take the nation to its destination
He said the failure of the Nigeria leaders to promptly and correctly react to both the political and economical changes in the country was responsible for the daily retrogression that has hit the nation.
“The reality has hit home by the measure of unemployment that we now have to deal with. We are producing the same graduates that our economy no longer needs. The town and the gown are speaking different languages.
“The reality has hit home by the measure of unemployment that we now have to deal with. We are producing the same graduates that our economy no longer needs. The town and the gown are speaking different languages. So, in my view, our priority must be how we create a generation of Nigerians that will build business rather than manage businesses built by others”.
He noted further that the road to the nation’s destination necessarily demands a change of curriculum to include enterprises and entrepreneurship, project planning and implementation as necessary skills that every Nigerian graduates of any discipline must possess.
“Qualitative higher education is not about certificates alone; it is about certificates of knowledge in the critical area of needs of the economy. If we follow the recently reported story of Doctorate degree holders who applied to be truck drivers in a conglomerate we would appreciate that no matter how highly trained they were, there was a gap between the training they received and what society required”, he said.
He however recommended national objective designed by the Federal Government in collaboration with the state, about the kind of economy desired to build over the next 20-50 years as well as the development of a broad framework for the kind of education that would be required to drive and sustain that economy so that the gown and the town can speak the same language.
“Massive investment in developing the infrastructure and policies that will sustain such an economy, such as building roads, providing power, developing agricultural policies that stimulate productions; role demarcation in a way that allows or encourages each state to decide for itself based on our diversity of states, the areas where it can most effectively drives its economy to meet the needs of the people and its human capital training for that purpose and the national government to stop competing with the state and instead seek to harness the educational development and economic prosperity that takes place in the state as the national educational development and economic prosperity”, he concluded.
Giving insight into the significance of the lecture, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Isaac Adewole said that the lecture is meant to address new graduands and share ideas on any issue germane to higher education or others issues that may be considered of national relevance.
He disclosed that just over 2000 new students were admitted out of about 90,000 applicants that applied for admission this year.