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Why industries are rejecting Nigerian graduates, by minister


Prof. Anthony Anwukah, Minister of State for Education.

Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwukah has declared that industries are rejecting graduates from Nigerian universities because the system is no longer churning out products that can meet the needs of industries.

Anwukah who spoke at the opening of a two-day retreat organised by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for Governing Councils of federal universities said there is a need to introduce a re-schooling project that would serve as a bridge between the students and industries.

According to the minister, the students’ industrial programme is not providing the needed bridge, which explained why the industries are refusing to employ graduates.

He said: “At what point are we breaking the jinx of our graduates not been able to meet the needs of our industries,” he queried.

The Minister challenged participants at the retreat to bridge the gap between Nigerian universities and the industry.

While suggesting a re-schooling project for the Nigerian students to better equip them for the field of work, he lamented that the Students’ Industrial Working Experience Scheme (SIWES) programme is no longer working due to what he called inadequate supervision.

“How do we address this challenge, the university system is trying to get industries to be part of what we are doing. We should look at how our graduates will be able to proceed on one whole year of practice in related fields.

“It is a big challenge and it remains a problem in the Nigerian university system, at what point do we find synergy, this is one of the problems the retreat needs to address,” the Minister said.

Speaking on the importance of creating new knowledge in the university system, Chairman Governing Board of NUC, Prof Ayo Banjo said the institutions must be adequately funded for them to achieve high ranking in world university ranking system.

Banjo added that government subventions must be visible in the universities, noting that there must also be reasonable staff to student ratio.

“University is judged largely by quality of its academic staff, international faculty and student ratio are key elements of ranking any university in the world. Nigerian universities for a start should open doors to students in West Africa countries. This will open revenue for them,” he said

Banjo said by November 17, 2018, Nigerian universities would be 70 years old saying that ‘we are still at the infancy stage’.

According to him, the general belief is that the Nigerian universities system is preforming under expectations compared to what was obtainable in other developed countries and this must be looked at critically.

On the issues of universities ranking, Banjo said NUC would soon establish a local ranking system, which would be appropriate for excellence.

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