Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has called for a redesign of Nigeria’s education curriculum towards producing entrepreneurship-driven graduates for the economic development of the country.
Ajimobi spoke while receiving the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Ibadan, on Friday.
The governor, who hinged his call on the current education system which, he said, was civil service-oriented, said an entrepreneurship-driven system would help create jobs and reduce high rate of unemployment among the teeming Nigerian graduates.
He expressed the regrets that in spite of the enabling environment being created by government for job creation, most youths were still busy looking for white collar jobs.
The governor said: “Youths constitute about 60 percent of our population and we need to concentrate on making entrepreneurs out of them. Unfortunately, the education system we are operating in Nigeria today appears to be supportive of civil/public service. No fewer than two million youths hit the job market every year whereas the current reality is that government cannot create all the jobs for this vast population. It can only create the enabling environment for people to create jobs. We must, therefore, encourage entrepreneurship and skill acquisition for people to be able to work on their own”.
Ajimobi sought the support of the British Government in his administration’s efforts at developing middle-level manpower through the newly established Technical University, Ibadan.
He also said that the state would be looking forward to more collaboration with Britain in the areas of commerce, agriculture, youth empowerment and technical education.
In his remarks, Mr. Arkwright said his home government was keen on creating business opportunities in Nigeria with a view to promoting trade relations between the two countries.
He said that the British Government has done so much to support the Nigerian Government to grow businesses and promote trade relations.
The envoy said he was in the state to facilitate the development of a link between the state and his home government as well as to explore the business opportunities in the state, especially in the area of agriculture.
Arkwright said British experts would be visiting the state to explore available opportunities in agriculture and other areas of economic importance.
He said: “The increasing population of the state also demanded the creation of additional job opportunities, particularly among the youth in order to put a stop to restiveness and other vices among them”.