President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said that Nigeria at this point requires the youths to be highly skillful in order to solve the problem of unemployment, security and youth restiveness.
The President, who was a Visitor at the 31st Convocation ceremony of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), stated that the era of handing certificates to graduates without self-sustaining skills is no longer sustainable.
Buhari who was represented by the State Minister of Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, observed that the growth and establishment of new industries to absorb the graduates is rather too slow.
According to him, “there is a need to re-double efforts in turning out graduates with self-sustaining, globally competitive skills and talents for the realization of national goals of building a free, democratic, just and egalitarian society, a united, strong and self-reliant nation”.
He continued that, “our universities are also challenged to key into modern trends in Computing and Information Technology, Cyber security, artificial intelligence, solar and alternative energies and modern biomedical technology, which is where the future is headed”.
The President assured that, “on our part as government, we remain committed to changing the negative narratives of our universities by making effective and efficient policies that will place our higher education at the right pedestal”.
He disclosed further that the Federal Government has completed the energy audit of 37 Federal Universities and is set to award the contracts for the commencement of Independent Power Plants in those Universities, “when completed, it will put an end to the perennial problem of power challenge in all Federal Universities in Nigeria”.
Earlier in his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Francis Eze, said that the University within the available resources has continued to provide facilities and equipment for effective teaching, learning and research.
He however noted that the University urgently needs a befitting Senate building, staff quarters, a sustainable power supply and refurbishment of existing old buildings and other facilities.
Meanwhile, 2,506 were awarded with degrees with 42 bagging First Class Honours.