By Maryam Garba Hassan
Vice-Chancellor, Kaduna State University, Prof. William Barnabas Qurix and Vice-Chairman of Network for African Student Entrepreneur (NASE) have said the National Universities Commission (NUC) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), are collaborating to explore fund for NASE, in order to boost it.
Qurix disclosed this in his keynote address yesterday, in Abuja, at this year’s retreat for NASE’s coordinators, tagged: “A new 2014 Stakeholders Sensitization Forum”, organised by the NUC, in collaboration with Kaduna State University.
He said NASE was conceived in 2010 at a conference in Canada, to put a structure to provide chance for universities in Nigeria to begin entrepreneur courses and to encourage students to go into businesses after graduating, and even when they are working, to become job creators not job seekers.
He said all universities in the country have been directed to form NASE clubs, adding that already more than half of the universities in the nation have established the centres and that the few that are yet to join are working hard to comply with the directive.
He said three universities were selected to start the programme in three categories, starting with Kaduna State University, which was asked to come up with an entrepreneur network, which was launched in 20013; Bayero University, Kano got the mandate to develop Centre for entrepreneurship, while University of Abuja was directed to establish a Centre for Continual Education.
Earlier in his good will message, an entrepreneur and founder, CEO of new Horizon, Mr. John Ekperigin, who commended the federal government for the initiation and NUC for its implementing it, expressed his concern over thousands of graduates from Nigerian universities churn out on yearly basis, who join the labor market.
He said the initiative will strengthen universities industrial relationships, adding that the reality is that the federal government cannot provide jobs for every Nigerian graduate and “therefore, entrepreneurship is imperative, if we are to compete favorably with other countries economically”.
“The skills Nigerian students acquire in universities today cannot adequately prepare them for the future. The only way we can solve most of the problems our nation is facing today is to create more jobs for our 7million unemployed citizens”, he said.