The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, says about 7,000 students and 500 staff members have been trained on entrepreneurship, with mentors attached to them in the last three years.
He said the students were largely trained in the areas of Design, Cinematography, Softskills, Technopreneurship, and more.
Ogundipe spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the institution’s 51st (2019) convocation lecture on Monday in Lagos.
The lecture, with the theme: “National Development and Knowledge Economy in the Digital Age: Leapfrogging SMEs into the 21st Century,” was delivered by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.”
It was part of activities lined up for the three-day convocation ceremony scheduled for July 6 to 8 in UNILAG.
According to the vice-chancellor, the country’s development will remain a key consideration in all the institution’s academic activities.
He noted that with the training of the students on entrepreneurship and skills development, the issue of unemployment, especially among youths, and other problems would be drastically reduced.
Ogundipe said: “Our dream is to produce 5000 serial entrepreneurs annually from our student population.
“We have been able to train about 7000 students in the past three years in various areas and attracted mentors for them.
“We have also perfected the modalities to register companies for them.
“These students, we are certain, will create jobs for themselves, be employers of labour, and therefore, reduce the burden of unemployment in the society.
“Once we tee them into the Small and Medium Enterprises and they are able to start, there will be less unemployment and then reduced vices in the country because this time, they will be more committed and ready to contribute their quota to national development.
“Let me remind us that the space for using certificates to get jobs is already saturated.”
The VC assured that the university would continue to take the lead in teaching, cutting-edge research, and community development.
He said the institution would continue to remain at the forefront of developing critical manpower in the nation.
Ogundipe said: “Our courses and research thematic areas are focused on preparing our students for nation-building and solving societal challenges.
“It is within this context that the university established the Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre for promoting entrepreneurship activities and orientation among the university students and staff.
“This is embedded in the 25-Year Strategic Plan of the university, which seeks to promote self-reliance, entrepreneurship, and exemplary leadership skills and capacity in our students.
“Since my assumption as the 12th vice-chancellor of this university, I have pursued this vision vigorously.”
The Chairman of the event, Dr. Tunde Bakare, Overseer, Citadel Global Community Church, said for one to succeed in any chosen endeavour in life, he must be ambidextrous with twin set qualities that come in variants.
Bakare noted that these were the qualities of character and learning, values and competencies, integrity and skills.
He said: “These ambidextrous qualifiers for success are reflected in the motto of this university: ‘Indeed and in truth.’
“These qualities are not only critical to personal success, but they are also keys to bridging the unemployment gap plaguing our economy.
“Nevertheless, though competencies evolve to meet emerging demands, values remain constant, only adapting to emerging challenges.”