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Why varsity lecturers should pay Lesser emphasis on certificates – Amb. Emoefe

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

The Founder of Portplus Limited, Lagos and Chairman, West Africa Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador Immanuel Emoefe, has urged university lecturers to pay more attention to the skill development of students as a measure to tackle the rising unemployment in the country.

Amb. Emoefe, made the call as a guest speaker during the Faculty Outreach and Award-Giving Ceremony organised by the Faculty of Education, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. He was represented at the occasion by an Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Lagos, Godwin Mmaduabuchi Okeke.

The event took place on Tuesday at the ASUU-NAU Secretariat Auditorium, and attracted academics, captains of industries, traditional rulers and students, Orient Daily reports. 

Emoefe, an Honorary Consul of Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, who spoke on ‘Career Opportunities for Youths in Nigeria’, decried that unemployment situation in Nigeria was worrisome, and noted that most graduates grapple for job opportunities where there are none.

The guest speaker enjoined university lecturers to employ effective teaching pedagogy and entrepreneurial skill suitable for preparing graduates as co-creators of wealth and employers of labour, stressing the import of emphasisng product quality over and above certificates.

According to him, the teeming number of unemployed youths in Nigeria each year is an indication that all is not well. We must take proactive steps to solving this problem.

He harped on harnessing the potentials of youths to meet various opportunities in the country and beyond, while remarking that the worsening economic situation in Nigeria, which, he said, was far from abating, needs urgent solution.

He, who is also the Chairman, The MarthaCharity Foundation, assured that he would continue to serve humanity, while promising to sustain the relationship with the Faculty of Education and University at large. 

In another presentation, NAPTIP Director, South East Region, Barr. Nduka Nwanwanne, who spoke on ‘Human/Child trafficking’ told his audience to avoid irregular migration, while lamenting that human trafficking was third most lucrative illegal business in the world. He said human trafficking affects all persons in society, and highlighted the many consequences of the anomaly.

According to him, poor economy, unemployment, poverty, get rich quick syndrome, illiteracy, ignorance, peer group influence, family pressure, among others, were the causes of human trafficking in Nigeria. He called for concerted effort to end the evil practice.

While declaring the event open, the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone, represented by the Dean, Student Affairs, Prof. Chinonso Achebe, reminded students of their roles in realisation of his administration’s ‘Vision 200’, while remarking that every hands must be on deck towards attainment of such height.

Esimone encouraged the students to take their studies seriously, and to develop themselves in readiness for better opportunities in the nearest future. He warned them against unbridled quest for materialism, asking the students to order their priorities right. 

Prof. Josephat Okey Ogbuagu, the chairman of the occasion, had, in a remark, said the maiden event was an opportunity to recognise friends of the faculty of education and welcome other new personalities ready to support the effort of government in education development to build a strong citadel of learning. 

Ogbuagu, who is the Dean, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Unizik, said the event would help bridge the gap between the public and the university. He said the event was a right step in line with the ‘Vision 200’ of the institution under the leadership of Prof. Esimone. He commended the Dean, Faculty of Education, Prof. Nkechi Ikediugwu for her dogged spirit, innovation and creativity.

Earlier, Prof. Ikediugwu, said the awardees clearly demonstrated their good qualities in action, hence the recognition. She expressed optimism that through the gesture, the students would learn perseverance, resilience, generosity, forthrightness, dedication and passion.

Ikediugwu, a professor of education management and policy, decried that the faculty was poorly funded, lacking basic amenities that can help drive her vision. She called for assistance in areas of school bus, a faculty car for office of the Dean, a 200 KVA Generator as alternative power supply, faculty building for lecturers’ offices, and so on. She also thanked the vice-chancellor and friends of the faculty for their continued support. 

The LOC Chairperson, Dr. Loyce Onyali, had, in a vote of thanks, noted that funding of the university was not necessarily the sole responsibility of the government but a collective effort of all who desire improvement by providing support to education sector. She lauded Prof. Ikediugwu for her creative spark and innovation, describing her as a ‘go-getter and digital dean’. 

Presentation of  awards to Ambassador Immanuel Emoefe (Life Time Achievement Award), Sir Roban Anwatu ( Distinguished Leadership Award), HRH Igwe Godwin Odiegwu (Academic Philantropist Award), Ichie Sir Joachim Amamgbo (Education Support Award), and Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Okeke (Meritorious Service Award) formed the high points of the ceremony. 

Other awardees include Mr. Basil Onyeanusi (Education Provider Award), Prince Charles Ezeagwu (Business Leadership Award), Chief Ikenna Okafor (Education Development Award), and Sir Dr. Emmanuel Mbaka (Transformational Industrial Award). In separate responses, the awardees appreciated the awards and promised continued support to the faculty and university. 

Musical performances by Africana International Troope (AIT) led by Prof. Oby Okonkwor and special performances by the visually-impaired community under the aegis of Centre for Disability and Special Needs Research (CENDASNER) led by its director, Prof. Williams Emeka Obiozor, also added glamour to the occasion.

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