The Bank of Industry Limited (BoI), has advocated alignment of town and gown, especially in the real sector, as part of measures to address lingering unemployment challenges in the country.
According to the bank, the potential in the nation’s real sector remains largely untapped, thereby limiting job creation efforts.
The Bank hinged underdevelopment in the sector on the harsh business environment and difficulties in doing businesses in Nigeria, thus limiting the growth capabilities of existing industries, while some have been forced to liquidate and others discouraged from commencing operations.
Giving the Convocation Lecture at the 2018 Graduation Ceremony of Gateway ICT Polytechnic, Sapaade Remo, Ogun State, at the weekend, the bank’s Chief Risk Officer, Ezekiel Oseni, stressed that youths need to embrace skills in order to overcome the plague of unemployment and become employers of labour themselves.
According to him, Nigerian businesses have not been able to achieve the scale of development of global peers due to challenges of infrastructural deficit like power, transportation, macroeconomic instability and socio-political issues, which in turn hinder the potential of businesses and thereby give rise to high rate of unemployment.
Oseni maintained that the high rate of youth unemployment, still pose a major challenge to the nation’s economy as it gives rise to high rate of crimes, brain drain and loss of expertise, poor economic growth, inequality of income, decrease on the nation’s life expectancy ratio and the increase in birth rate among others.
Speaking further, he reiterated the need to forge stronger links between the worlds of classroom education and practice, and urged educational institutions to place greater emphasis on complementing theoretical knowledge with both practical knowledge and soft skills development.
He said: “The market is in need of employees that possess both hard and soft skills in good proportions, but the wide gap between the required skills and the skills possessed by job seekers still pose a big challenge.