FUNAI VC TASKS FG ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP INCUBATION CENTRES
The Vice Chancellor, Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State, Professor Chinedum Uzoma Nwajiuba has called on the Federal and other levels of Government in Nigeria to think laterally in their drive to diversify the economy by establishing entrepreneurship incubation centres throughout the country to harness the talents and skills of the Nigerian youths as it is the case in the advanced nations of the world like Germany.
Professor Nwajiuba made this call during an interactive meeting with staff of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) who paid him a courtesy call at his office on Monday 7th of November 2016.
Attributing the harsh economic situation facing the country to the depletion in the price of crude oil, the Vice Chancellor decried the overdependence of the Nigerian governments on crude oil for foreign exchange earnings over the years, noting that the era of oil boom was over and it was time to think outside the box and get the nation back on the right economic track through the establishment of entrepreneurship incubation centres in all the Universities in the country.
“As the agencies of the Federal Government with the statutory responsibility of empowering the youths in various areas of skills acquisition; ITF, NDE and SMEDAN should not only think of training the Nigerian youths on quarterly basis but should create lasting skill acquisition centre in every Universities across the country. These centres if established will serve as incubation centres for ideas, talents and skills”, Prof. Nwajiuba stated.
Professor Nwajiuba noted that the University was poised to overcome the cash crush facing the nation by building the capacities and making practical use of its staff and students in providing solutions to some of its challenges in the areas of perimeter fencing and in constructing culverts and internal roads in the University.
The Vice Chancellor further maintained that when completed, staff and students would be directly involved in running the University farm, in order to give them practical experiences in livestock productions, poultry management and other forms of farming activities to create jobs for the youths, revenue for the University and food security for the citizens. The farm, he added would be privately managed to eliminate the bureaucratic bottlenecks of the public service.
Speaking during the event, an Assistant Director in the Industrial Training Fund headquarters, Jos, Mrs. Stella Ogbuishi, said the FG was not resting on its oars in empowering the Nigerian youths with various sellable and functional skills which explains why ITF on quarterly basis flag off nationwide training programmes in different parts of the country. She stated that the country wouldn’t have been enmeshed in the present economic malaise if attention had been shifted away from the oil sector to talent and skill management.
Mrs. Oguishi described the Vice Chancellor as a rare Nigerian driven by passion for the greatness of the country, adding that his leadership style has made the University one of the best in the country in terms of collaborating with ITF to build the capacities of its staff and students and even the youths of its host community and environs.
The visit came at a time when the University, as part of its Corporate Social Service is collaborating with the Industrial Training Fund to train over 100 youths of its host community (Ikwo) and environs in various skills acquisition schemes in order to empower them with the relevant functional knowledge and hands-on skills to be self reliant and contribute to national development.