Ado Ekiti — The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has promised that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, will address poor funding of polytechnic education to boost technical and vocational education in Nigeria.
The minister said Buhari was committed to promoting technical and vocational education in Nigeria through huge investment and research enhancement in the sector, to raise the face of polytechnics and make a driver of the economy.
Adamu said with the dwindling fortunes of jobs in the formal sector that Nigerian graduates, particularly those from polytechnics and other technical schools need to imbibe the culture of acquiring skills that could make them be employers of labour, rather than waiting for uncertainty.
The Emir of Lafia, Nasarawa State, Alhaji Isah Mustapha Agwai, a renowned industrialist and businessman, Mr. Remi Omotoso and Mr. Toyin Alabi, were conferred with the Fellow of Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti (FFPA) as a mark of recognition for their contributions to the development of the country.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti at the weekend during the convocation ceremony of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, the minister said the skills and entrepreneurial studies in all the institutions of leaning would be enhanced to help Nigeria overcome the challenges of joblessness after graduation.
Adamu charged well-meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies to help in the funding of education to be able to overcome the challenges of "underfunding, staff training and retraining, capacity building, strengthening of institutional management as well as quality technical and vocational."
The minister stated that the occasional funds being provided by Tertiary Education Trust Fund, is not enough to place the country's tertiary institutions on a rocky and reliable platform to be able to compete with other institutions in advanced climes.
Adamu, represented by the Director of Tertiary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Hajia Damiat Abdullahi, said: "The federal Ministry of Education and National Board for Technical Education and other stakeholders are actively collaborating on the establishment of sector skills council, training quality assurance managers.
"Large number of unemployed youths are earning their living within the informal sector. This informal economy, which composed of a large segment of the urban population is indeed earning a living by providing essential services including skilled labour in construction, repair and trading.
"As you aware, job creation in the formal sector of the economy is not growing in proportion to the population. Government has therefore refocused on technical vocational education and training towards the possibilities of going into self-employment as a viable alternative."
The Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr Theresa Akande, promised that the polytechnic would continue to strive to offer quality and all encompassing education for graduates to be able to operate under the present economic situation.
She begged the graduands to shelve nefarious and anti-social activities like cultism, militancy, insurgency and political brigandage that could derail their plans toward achieving greatness.
The rector exuded confidence that the entrepreneurial and skill studies they had been exposed to is suffice to make them relevant if focused and determined, in spite of the parlous state of the country's economy.