Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, said it would henceforth provide start-up capital for the institution’s student-entrepreneurs to ensure the growth and sustainability of their business ideas.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Lawrence Ezemonye, disclosed this on Wednesday in Okada, while declaring open the University’s 9th Students’ Product Exhibition and Trade Fair.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that more than 700 students across various colleges of the university were trained under the entrepreneurship and skill acquisition programme of the institution.
The vice-chancellor said the students had proven that the idea of skill acquisition was noble, as entrepreneurship had become a trend for survival and sustenance.
“Unemployment is becoming embarrassing, with the available statistics. And this is not peculiar to Nigeria, but across the globe, particularly due to economic recession and the effect of the global pandemic.
“Besides, the employability of our graduates is another serious concern. Many of the students graduating from various tertiary institutions are not employable,” he said.
Ezemonye also said some university graduates were underemployed, resulting in some of them engaging in cab driving, with many others getting the job of office secretary and other demeaning jobs.
He said it was in an attempt to stem the tide that the entrepreneurship programme was embedded in the university’s curriculum over 10 years ago.
According to him, the efforts have become the flagship for other tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The vice-chancellor said the school had introduced an industry-academia platform through which players in the industry come to talk to academics and students at Master classes.
He said that a work-study programme for students had commenced in the school, where the best in the entrepreneurship courses would work for certain hours and be paid stipends.
In his address of welcome, David Omoghuare, the Director, Sir David Osunde Centre for Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition, said the occasion was to demonstrate what the students had learnt during the three-month hands-on entrepreneurship training.
According to Omoghuare, more than 6,000 students had so far been trained at the centre within 10 years of its establishment.
NAN reported that the best student-entrepreneurs were presented with cash prizes, ranging from N50, 000 to N100,000.