Orji Uzor Kalu, the Senate Chief Whip has urged Nigerians not to blame neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor the National Assembly over the high unemployment rate in the country, saying that many graduates were not properly groomed.
Speaking at the commencement of the Graduate Skills Training (GST) programme by an Abuja-based tech company, TerraSkills, Kalu said many lecturers don’t know what they are teaching in the tertiary institutions, which is making the country to produce graduates that are unemployable.
“We should not blame President Muhammadu Buhari nor the National Assembly over the high rate of unemployment in the country which is causing insecurity. I’ve been a governor, so I know what I am talking about.
“Most of our graduates are not properly trained for the jobs. That’s why there is insecurity. Everything is not on Buhari or the National Assembly. It is because most people are not groomed properly for leadership.
“Going to the university is not enough because most of these lecturers don’t even know what they are teaching you. I became an entrepreneur before I went into politics and I am still the chief adviser of my companies that employ over 13,000 people, so I know what I am talking about,” Kalu said.
While advising the participants of the TerraSkills graduate skills training, Kalu said most people in many companies were not well trained.
“Training is the key,” Kalu said, adding that, “No human being is perfect. Government is not perfect, the private sector cannot be perfect. What you should do is to take the good and throw away the bad.
“No knowledge is a waste. Even now, I want to leave the comfort of my office and go to the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) and study. I won’t mind being a student with you here at TerraSkills because studies are important,” Kalu stated, adding that most of his factories are in Lagos but now want to establish 150,000-tons rice mill in his village.
For his part, the Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, who is the founder of TerraSkills, said it took them three years of research to come up with the graduate skills training programme.
“This is not about making money, but about developing human capital. Many graduates don’t have the skills. I’ve told the staff that anyone that is not trainable, after two weeks, his money should be refunded because he or she doesn’t have a place here.
“The essence is to improve the productivity of companies in Nigeria. We also want to help reduce the number of graduates without jobs in the country. We will continue to equip the graduates with the necessary skills to fit in the job environment,” Senator Sabi, who represents Niger North, said.
Also speaking, the representative of the Director General (DG) of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Aminu Mohammed, said TarraSkills is replicating what ITF is doing, adding that they will ensure they continue to make Nigerian youths employable.