Newly admitted students of Nigeria’s premier technical university, First Technical University, (Tech-U), Ibadan, have been charged to be open to learning in order to aid their transformation into innovators and entrepreneurs.
The charge was given by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami, while addressing the students during the recent orientation programme for freshmen. ‘Over the last two sessions, the First Technical University, Ibadan, has carved a niche for itself by training students to combine intellectual advancement with the development of innate and acquired technical and vocational competencies in diverse work areas”, the Vice-Chancellor averred.
While noting that a formidable obstacle to Nigeria’s development is the large number of graduates who have certificates without skill, Professor Salami disclosed that Tech-U will produce graduates who will fill the skill gaps in the industry. He pointed out that the University focuses on knowledge on the one hand and skills on the other hand.
The Vice-Chancellor also pointed out that some students in the University already have their own startups and are on their way to becoming full-fledged entrepreneurs. When he informed the students that they will undergo vocational trainings and be certified in such vocations, Professor Salami said “This is a University with a potential I have not seen in any university. No university has the kind of potential Tech-U has demonstrated. We have about 18 different vocations that you can choose from”. He also made it known that the students’ courses will include 60% theory and 40% practical and hands on training during their stay in the University.
The University’s Director of General Administration, Mr. Murtala Agbaje who led them through the institution’s administrative processes urged the students to work towards making themselves outstanding. “Each and every one has a talent and a mission. Your goal can be achieved through the First Technical University, you are not in the wrong place”, he said.
In the course of the second phase of the orientation programme, which bordered on entrepreneurship, Dr. Olugbenga Fayomi, the Director of the University’s Centre for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training, encouraged the freshmen to get skilled in order to be relevant to the environment. “Functional education is what will make people call you and pay you for solving their problems. Industrialists and governments are looking for people with uncommon knowledge; so start to determine what to do with the skills you learn here”.
Speaking further, Dr. Fayomi said “there must be something that must set you apart from the crowd. First Class Honours may not be enough. Please develop yourselves and take advantage of opportunities. Remember jobs are looking for some people while some people are looking for jobs”.
Mr. Niyi Adetoro, of the Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Samonda, Ibadan, spoke on the habits of successful entrepreneurs. He urged them to be ready to take responsibility and embrace continuous learning. He also encouraged them to manage their time skillfully and take calculated risks.