By Maryam Garba Hassan
Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, has said for the country to attain Vision 20:20 successful entrepreneurs and relevant stakeholders in the economic sector must empower graduates with the skills to become economic independent and Nigeria’s problems solvers.
Represented by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, the minister made the assertion yesterday in Abuja while declaring open this year’s Annual National Entrepreneurship Week (ANEW) with the theme: ‘Building Sustainable Industries Partnership’.
According to the minister, no nation can survive without developing its economy.
He said the decision to hold the annual entrepreneurship week for university students was borne out of the nation’s quest to address poverty, unemployment among its graduates, youth restiveness and to make the economy robust.
He said the forum is to establish functional entrepreneurship courses in the 129 universities in the country.
He commended the NUC for sponsoring experts and stakeholders to mold young entrepreneurs, address poverty and unemployment and assist graduates gain economic independence through their economic ideas.
He urged stakeholders particularly Vice Chancellors to collaborate with other relevant stakeholders to address challenges facing the country and empower youth that can compete favourably with their global counterparts in the economic sector.
He said entrepreneurship courses must be made compulsory in all the 129 universities in the country to produce graduates who will be Nigeria’s future problems solvers.
In his address, Chairman, NUC board, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, who commended government efforts in exposing university students to acquire skills to contribute their own quota in boasting the economic sector in the country, said society benefits immensely from entrepreneurs.
Earlier in his welcome address, NUC Executive Secretary represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary Prof. Philips Chinedu, said the opening ceremony marks the beginning of a 4-day programme.
He said the annual event, established in 2006, was to strengthen the collaboration between universities and industries, instill the spirit of entrepreneurship in students rather than wait for white collar jobs, develop students’ capabilities towards national development and enrich universities curriculum among others.
He further explained that this year’s event is to stimulate students with the necessary tools to become globally competitive.
He said presently 15 out of the 129 federal universities in the country are offering entrepreneur courses.