LASU VC Prescibes Capacity Building In Higher Institutions To Meet Nations Economic Challenges

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The Vice-Chancellor, of Lagos State University, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, has identified the need for higher institutions to strengthen capacity development training in their bid to produce graduates who can effectively address the myriad of challenges confronting the nation.

She made this call at the 3rd Combined Convocation Ceremony of the Redeemed College of Technology and Management (RECTEM), Ogun State, where she delivered the Convocation Lecture, on Tuesday, 13th February 2024.

While speaking on the topic, “Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities for Enhancing Capacity, Fostering Innovation, and Promoting Entrepreneurship”, she made the case for higher institutions to build the capacity of their graduates through skills acquisition programmes that can set them on the platform to create solutions and become employers of labour contributing to national development.

She said, “To state in clear terms, quality higher education is designed to provide the necessary skilled workforce and talents needed for societal progress and development. The anticipated outcome is that an improvement in the quality of higher education will lead to the strengthening of capacity building, innovation, and entrepreneurial abilities, resulting in positive impacts on national growth and development”, adding that “capacity building is essential in higher education to promote both individual and institutional development and achievement.”

Using Lagos State University under her leadership as a study, the professor of Physiology said the institution prioritises capacity building to improve the skills and knowledge of instructors, staff, and students, noting that “…a multitude of programmes and initiatives have been put into effect to offer training and development prospects. These efforts seek to provide individuals with the essential skills and competencies needed to excel in their specific domains. “

Specifically, she attributed the promotion of entrepreneurship training to the production of market-ready graduates by the institution calling on other institutions to emulate the LASU development model. She said, “Education institutions should actively promote and shape the entrepreneurial mindset among students through entrepreneurship education. This would not only stimulate economic growth and employment opportunities but also foster creativity, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills.”

She fingered the challenges faced by the country in its bid to produce skilled graduates as conflicting policy scenarios, curriculums that fail to fulfill the demands of the 21st century, and inadequate infrastructure, characterised by the unreliable power supply and limited internet access, amongst other, concluding however, that inspire of these challenges, Nigeria possesses the capability to improve its competence in several industries.

She called on all stakeholders to strengthen all higher education institutions to provide students with a wide range of entrepreneurial skills, through adequate funding by the government, improved private intervention, the establishment of a strong information and communication technology centre in all higher educational institutions, the implementation of entrepreneurial development programmes and workshops, and the establishment of training centres to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset among both learners and students and revision of the educational curriculum at the majority of higher education institutions nationwide to incorporate entrepreneurial development programmes.

The Convocation Lecture by Prof. Olatunji-Bello marked the first programme of the Convocation Ceremony following the opening declaration by the Visitor, Pastor E. A. Adeboye, who was represented by his wife, Pastor (Mrs) Folu Adeboye. An array of dignitaries including the Chairman of the Occasion, Elder Simeon Olakunrin, SAN; Chairman of Jubilee Bank, Sir. Felix Ohiwerei, members of the Governing Council of the Polytechnic, members of its management led by the rector, Dr. S. I. Mofunnaya, representatives of other institutions, staff, and graduating students of RECTEM were present.

On the train of the Vice Chancellor to the event was the DVC, Administration, Prof. Adenike Boyo; some directors and members of the Momentus Women and Men for Good Governance in Lagos State Tertiary Institutions (MOWLAS and MOMLAS).

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