By Fortune Eromosele, ABUJA

The Chairman, BOT, University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association, Dr. Alex Otti, has identified problem-solving as a key tool in tackling unemployment among young people in Nigeria.

Otti stated this in Abuja on Monday, during the “Gown to Town,” inaugural symposium with the theme: “Gown to Town: Strategies for Graduate Marketplace Readiness and Economic Growth,” organised by the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association, Abuja Chapter.

Dr otti further charged the youths to be innovators and creators as well as budding their mindsets to make meaningful and contributive impacts in the country.

He said, “The first thing they need to do is prepare themselves and know that it won’t be all of them that will be able to find jobs once they are out of the university. If you look at the unemployment rate in Nigeria, it is the second highest in the world.

“So there’s nothing actually for anybody who graduates today to do. So you need to now prepare yourself for an alternative job. People can employ themselves and innovate. The world today is actually not ruled by employees but by innovators. What problem can you solve.

“If you think solving problems rather than looking for work, you probably be able to get something to do before somebody who’s preparing a CV. It’s not the way it was anymore in the olden days.”

On her part, the Chapter President, University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association, Abuja Chapter, Phil Biolele Okoroafor, explained that, “Gown to Town, as it turns out, I have been privileged to be an employer of labour for over 30 years now and a lot of people that come looking for jobs, I’m just blown away at the fact that a lot of them are really unprepared for the market place.

“It’s not something that I consciously determined to do, but it’s something that has emerged from my experience over the years. So when I became the President of the Chapter, I thought that we should have a conversation around how to bridge the gap between what universities are releasing to the market place and what the market place really needs.”

She advised graduates to make use of their time, as spending time building themselves would prove effective for them in the market place.

According to her, “My message to graduates is to take advantage of the time they have. Every single person has at their disposal, 24 hours, what you do with the 24 hours that you are given, is what will determine the output of what society gives back to you.

“If you are spending your time reading and building yourself up, you are going to be equipped for the market place and so when you come, you will easily find yourself getting a job.

“Spend time building your mind, skills and acquiring communication skills, because some times you may be really intelligent but because you don’t have human relations it could be the reason why you’re not getting ahead, so spend time building yourself on every front.”

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