It is with unfeigned joy that I welcome you to the First Technical University (Tech-U), Ibadan. An initiative of the Oyo State Government, Tech-U was established to combat the growing scourge of youth unemployment in Nigeria.
Nigeria is currently faced with myriads of challenges relating to the empowerment, education and employment of its teeming youth. According to the National Population Commission (NPoC, 2013), about half of Nigeria’s population of 182 million people is made up of youth (that is, individuals between 15 and 34 years). Yet, the combined admission capacity of the Nigerian University System, public and private, is barely up to 40% of qualified and eligible candidates. A more fundamental problem is the persistent and growing complaint about gaps in the employability of Nigerian graduates; majority of whom are considered as not being market-ready. This gap is attributable in part to the apparent lack of entrepreneurial orientation of several academic programmes in the Nigerian University System. The First Technical University (Tech-U), Ibadan, the first of its kind in Nigeria and in West and Central Africa, was therefore established to expand access to University education and more importantly to address the employability gaps through entrepreneurial orientation of the average Nigerian youth.
The University is located in Ibadan, the largest city in West Africa and situated on a 200 ha of land along Ibadan-Lagos Expressway; in the Free Trade Zone Area in which about 175 local and foreign manufacturing companies will establish presence and carry out their operations. This is a deliberate and conscious decision that was intended to give students easy and direct access to ample opportunities for industrial exposure and hands-on experience. It will also engender strong collaboration with the University in the provision of services aimed at accelerating the growth and expansion of the industries located around the University area.
First Technical University is a unique institution that is committed to training its students to create tomorrow today by giving them access to a broad range of knowledge that allows them to develop the capacity to innovate. Through unwavering commitment to the time-honoured principles of impactful innovation, first-rate research collaborations, exceptional services, unalloyed integrity, and unyielding quest for excellence, we seek to develop hands and minds that will meaningfully improve the human condition in Nigeria and beyond. As a technical university, we have an abiding obligation to efficiently and responsibly use theoretical and practical knowledge of science, technology, and engineering in engaging societal problems, while maintaining a culture of entrepreneurship anchored on quality programmes that are responsive and financially suitable. It is in that connection that we provide technical vocational and entrepreneurship training to all students.
Irrespective of their areas of study, all our students will have to be certified fit in two vocational training programmes before graduation. In order to make our graduates globally competitive and relevant, all students will also be required to go through French language competence courses and undergo immersion programme as a prerequisite for graduation. In addition, they are required to learn at least one other Nigerian language, other than their mother tongue.
Quite important as well is the fact that we do not set out to train only Nigerians. We are open to train young people from different parts of the world, particularly Africa and specifically West Africa. We are intentionally disposed to universalising our institution. As a matter of policy, our students and staff will be given international exposure and in that context be involved in global best practices in training and knowledge production.
Like every other thing, we place high premium on security. To this end, our campus boasts of such a multi-layered security network. The security system is both visible and invisible. All major areas of the campus are under adequate and comprehensive security cover. Within what is humanly possible, we do ensure that our environment is adequately secured.
Tech-U is open to all and on behalf of the University, I invite you to join us as students, staff, partners, and supporters of our ideals and ideas as we strive to make a turn-around in the education of our youth for a better tomorrow and in development-oriented research to provide innovative solutions to societal problems and accelerated industrial revolution in Nigeria and beyond.
As I welcome you here again, I invite you to explore the Tech-U website, our communication and information highway. You are free to talk to us and engage us constructively.