ABRAKA/Nigeria: Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has urged students in higher institutions to acquire entrepreneurial skills so as to survive in today’s economy.
Speaking recently at the 4th edition of the students’ sensitization programme, ‘Even A Professor Needs A Skill’, organised by two of his aides Ovie Success Ossai and Ezekiel Okoh in Abraka, Governor Okowa stressed that having a certificate on its own may not guarantee today’s university graduates the elusive white collar job, stating that youths today need entrepreneurial and technical skills to become self-employed and job creators.
Dr. Okowa, represented by his chief of staff, Hon. Tam Birisbe, noted that the essence of the programme was to prepare undergraduates in the state to acquire additional skills relevant for their survival in the society and making them entrepreneurs and job creators as they graduate from school rather than wait endless for white collar jobs.
He said: “In the 60s in Nigeria, if you were a university graduate, the day you start working, the companies that sell cars will come to your office and give you the keys to a Peugeot and Volkswagen cars for you to test drive for three or four days and if you like the car, they will sell it to you. you had the opportunity of taking a loan then and paying it off in three years. These things do not happen anymore. These days if you wait for a job from the government or a company after graduation, you will end up waiting for up to 10 years and it will never come.”
“This awareness seminar is a laudable one as it prepares you for the reality of tomorrow. It should inspire students to start pursuing developing skills and not just passionate about obtaining a degree only, as making a living is not only about having a certificate”, the governor added.
In his opening address, Professor Victor Peretomode, Vice chancellor Delta State University, charged youths to keep into the entrepreneurial and job creation schemes of the state government, stressing that “Today, there is a high level of employment because everyone is waiting for the government to employ them.”
According to him, the management in DELSU now runs a skill acquisition centre where indigenes of the university host community, numbering 75 and others are beneficiaries from the training, saying that the best performing students will be giving starter packs at the end of the programme.
The organisers of the Awareness Programme, Ovie Success Ossai and Ezekiel Okoh said that the objectives of the programme as to give students a new orientation from laying emphasis on certificate for employment to looking inward to developing and acquire skills while in school; growing a new generation of student entrepreneurs before they graduate; bringing to the door step of students various government incentives available for entrepreneurs and reduce the pressure on the government to provide jobs.
They emphasised that students need to start early to acquire life skills so as to be able to be self-employed and create jobs as even the professors despite his education still need a skill.
Various persons including the Executive Secretary of Delta State Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency Mrs Shimite Bello, and Mr Segun Manuel The Chief Solutions Provider, Smogville Solutions LTD, spoke at the occasion.