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At UNIBEN event, Buhari urges varsities to rejig policies

University of Benin (UNIBEN)

University of Benin (UNIBEN)

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has called on universities to re-focus their policy thrusts in the direction of entrepreneurship with a view to creating employment and improving their capacity to churn out dependable products, which he stressed, were needed to drive government’s economic polices.

The President, who spoke during the weekend at the 41st convocation of the University of Benin, Edo State, reaffirmed ongoing efforts to tackle the nation’s economic downturn, insurgency, unemployment crisis, among others.
   
Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Onwuka, Buhari said: “As part of the efforts of this administration to address the burning issue of youth unemployment in the country, our universities should become more entrepreneurial in outlook while curriculum development should be industry-driven with conscious efforts made to involve the industry in the exercise because it has been identified that the university has the capacity to train the needed personnel to drive the various economic initiatives of government. 

“The ambition of the Federal Government is to provide qualitative education, especially tertiary education for our teeming youths. This, however, requires the support of all stakeholders. If there is one thing Nigerians agree on, it is the fact that our educational system is undervalued. Permit me to say at this point, and very sadly too, that the current standard of education in Nigeria has unfortunately succeeded in creating three classes of Nigerians: a minority that is well educated, a majority that is either mis-educated or poorly educated and those without education at all. This is not healthy for our country and concerted efforts should be made to reverse the trend.”
   
The President stressed that in this knowledge-driven 21st century, education was key to the socio-economic development of the country, saying “and as we all know, the university is a major vehicle for the much-desired change in our society and in doing this, it must be responsive to the needs of its immediate environment. If Nigeria’s projection to be among the emerging economies after countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China is to be a reality, the university should take the centre stage. Each university is expected to identify its area of strength and lean on the support of experts within and outside to market those strong points. On the part of the Federal Government, I want to assure you of our determination to work assiduously within the limits of available resources to attain the desired change in the education sector and in doing this, government is not unmindful of the supporting roles of other stakeholders in the sector.”



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