Orji Uzor Kalu, senate chief whip and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has argued that neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor the national assembly is to blame for the high unemployment rate in the country.
According to him, unemployment could be attributed to many graduates that are not properly groomed, just as he stressed that many lecturers do not know what they are teaching in the tertiary institutions as this has greatly led to the country producing graduates that are unproductive.
Speaking on Monday in Abuja at the commencement of the Graduate Skills Training (GST) programme of an Abuja based tech company, TerraSkills, Kalu said, “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.”
The former Abia State Governor who advised the participants of the TerraSkills graduate skills training to make good use of what they have acquired, noted that most people in many companies are not well trained, adding, “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 of rice mill in his village.
In his remarks, the Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, APC, Niger North who is also the founder of TerraSkills, explained that it took them three years of research to come up with the graduate skills training programme.
Senator Sabi Abdullahi said, “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.”
Also in his remarks, the representative of the Director General (DG) of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Aminu Mohammed who noted that TarraSkills was replicating what they are doing at the ITF, said that they will ensure they continue to make Nigerian youths employable.