The director, Centre for Public Service Productivity and Development, Dr. Chris Egbu, has called on the government to review courses being offered by higher institutions in the country in order to address the problem of skills mismatch in the country.
Egbu recently made the call during the public presentation of his new book titled Entrepreneurial Finance: How to Raise Capital to Start your Business.
At the event held in Lagos, he stressed the importance of inculcating in youths knowledge and skills that can prepare them for financial independence.
He said, “Skills mismatches mean that unemployed people need more skills than they have to find a new job, which in turn drives up long-term unemployment. Nigerian youths must re-orientate themselves. Self-employment is the guarantee for unemployment.
“You can only earn a living with employment; but with self-employment, your earning is unlimited. They must pursue their passion vigorously and that will open doors for them.”
He added that high standard of education should mean high standard of creativity and high standard of creativity should translate to more jobs and more jobs mean economic growth, productivity and prosperity.
“About 80 per cent of our university courses lack creativity and originality,” Egbu said.
“Most University courses are not geared towards skills required by employers; hence 80 per cent of University graduates are unemployable. The high rate of unemployment in the country requires a comprehensive programme of job creation to put youths into gainful employment and revive the economy. This comprehensive programme should include introduction of entrepreneurial finance as a course of study.
“We must commend the NYSC for introducing skills acquisition and entrepreneurship training for youths, including graduates undergoing the mandatory one-year National Youth Service. The efficacy of this skill acquisition can only be complemented by entrepreneurial finance training.”
Noting that the unemployment situation in Nigeria is alarming, he explained that figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics for 2011 indicated a national unemployment rate of 23.9 per cent.