The Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin (UNIBEN), Prof. Faraday Orumnwense, has called on governments at all levels to invest more in science and technology in order to boost skill acquisition.
Orumnwense, who made the call on Tuesday in Abuja at the “Civil Society Dialogue with Stakeholders on Education’’, called for establishment of technology and innovation villages.
The dialogue was organised by the 1st Initiative for Leadership and Economic Watch in Nigeria.
The theme of the dialogue is “Knowledge as the Engine of 21st Century Economic Growth: Reforming the System in Nigeria.’’
Orumnwense , who was represented by Prof. Jacob Ehirobo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, UNIBEN, said the modern world was driven by knowledge-economy.
“Large corporations should set up specialised institutions where people are trained for specialised skills in production after graduation as it is done in other climes.
“There should be a strong synergy between the academia and the industries; industrial parks should be established in universities.
“The government should invest more in science and technology and should as a matter of deliberate policy set up technology and innovation villages.
“The government should increase funding to tertiary institutions and research institutes as well as establishment of centres of excellence to research into critical areas of national needs,’’ he said.
Mr Agbonkponlor Splendour, the Execuitve Director, 1st Initiative for Leadership and Economic Watch in Nigeria, who spoke, said the essence of dialogue was to improve the education sector.
He said that Nigeria’s education sector lacked capacity to impact skills on graduates.
“Our graduates cannot compete favourably in the labour market because of lack of skills.
“The essence of this is to deliberate on how to empower Nigerian students to be at same level with their peers abroad,’’ he said.
In a remark, Dr Paddy Njoku, President, International Institute of Leadership and Governance, urged Nigerian youths to be wary of those inciting them to violence.
He said students should strive to break grounds instead of always blaming the government for the state of Nigeria’s education sector.