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Unemployment: NUC tasks undergrads on setting up businesses

Source: pointblanknews.com
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Worried by the increasing population of graduate job seekers in Nigeria,

the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC),

Professor Julius Okogie has called on undergraduates to nurture ideas

which they can turn into successful business ventures.

Professor Okogie's call was contained in a goodwill message to the 2014

Youth Summit for undergraduates organized by the Ambassador Emmanuel

Oseimiegha Otiotio (AEOO) Foundation in Abuja at the weekend.

In the message that was delivered on his behalf by the Director, Students

Support Services, Mallam Ibrahim Iro Dan-Iya, Okogie said the Commission

had, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, initiated a number of

entrepreneurship programmes for Nigerian undergraduates to enable them,

upon graduation, become job creators rather than job seekers.

According to him, “Some of these include the Network for African Student

Entrepreneurs (NASE) and the Annual National Entrepreneurship Week (ANEW)

both of which are aimed at providing a plaftrom for networking and

exchange of business ideas among students, promotion of entrepreneurship

in the university system as well as projection of entrepreneurship to the

larger society.”
Okogie said the Youth Summit with the theme: “Aspire to Greatness” could

not have come at a better time than now when the increasing rate of

unemployment among Nigerian tertiary institution undergraduates and the

desire to create job opportunities for the teeming youth in the country

had informed government's decision to “ensure that graduates are equipped

with requisite knowledge and skills to start up small scale businesses for

sustainable living while in and after school.”
He stated that it was against this backdrop that the Federal Government in

2006 directed that Entrepreneurship Education should be entrenched in the

curriculum of all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country,

stressing that “Hence the NUC introduced GST Entrepreneurship as a

compulsory course for all undergraduates while the B.Sc Entrepreneurship

was introduced as a degree programme in 2011.”
President of the AEOO Foundation, Ambassador Otiotio commended the Federal

Government's initiatives through the NUC, pointing out that his Foundation

would synergise with and complement government's efforts at building

capacities for undergraduate youths to enable them start their own small

scale businesses.
Otiotio explained that this would ease pressure on the government as such

small businesses would create positive multiplier effects on the economy

as the businesses would be able to provide employment in the private

sector.
He urged undergraduates who participated at the Youth Summit to be

proactive by coming up with ideas on how to drive Federal Government's

employment creation initiatives through the NUC, assuring them that the

AEOO Foundation would interface between them and the NUC.

The Youth Summit featured speakers on various perspectives of how to

achieve greatness through setting up of private businesses, motivational

videos, presentation by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development

Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), dance drama on the imperativeness of national

unity, mentoring sessions and presentation of business plans by the

groups.
 
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