UK varsities alumni move to bridge growing unemployment in Nigeria
Over 19 United Kingdom (UK) universities alumni in Nigeria, are seeking to bridge employment gap, and addressing growing unemployment in Nigeria.
Speaking at an event in Abuja, where the universities organised a career fair to mitigate the skill gap in the country by linking employers with skilled candidates, International Officer, University of Essex, Arinze Odiari, said government alone does not have the capacity to address Nigeria’s unemployment problem.
This is coming at a time when the Federal Government raised the alarm that the country’s unemployment rate could hit 33.5 per cent by 2020.
The experts equally disclosed that over 15 thousand Nigerian have in the last 10 years graduated from over 19 universities in the UK.
Odiari said Nigeria’s unemployment challenge requires a holistic approach that would include multiple contributions from stakeholders in the country.
“We need to talk about what we all can do, not only as government but as individuals. We need to do a lot more. We need to get involved,” Odiari stated.
According to him, Nigerian alumni of over 19 universities from the UK are currently making efforts that would reduce capital flight from importation of skilled manpower from other countries to Nigeria.
He noted that since the alumni have world-class education, they would be strategically planted in sectors where their services would contribute meaningfully to the nation’s economy.
Odiari stated that the event demonstrated the commitment of UK universities to their graduates.
He added: “What can be more rewarding and mutually beneficial for graduates and employers alike than to be together under one roof.
Employers are looking for graduates with world class education and with experience in global standards, and here we have Nigeria graduates who are looking to apply the education and skills acquired in the development of their great nation, Nigeria.”
UK Deputy High Commissioner, Laure Beaufils had earlier said the plan would provide opportunity to showcase the talent and skills of the Nigerian students trained in the UK.
Beaufils said: “The UK is rightly proud of its education excellence and the universities represented today feature among the very best that we have. I have no doubt that this will be a great opportunity for employers as they actively seek to identify talent to deliver on their business priorities.”
On his part, University of Nottingham’s Regional Manager, West Africa, Emma Tarrant Tayou said the universities including Birmingham, Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan, Central Lancashire, Essex, Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian, Kent Leeds, Loughborough, Newcastle, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Portsmouth, Robert Gordon, Salford, Southampton, Stirling and Sussex are not only in the business of graduating students, but linking them with appropriate employers.
Tayou disclosed that Nigerians, who have graduated from the universities in the last 10 years, have hit 15,000.