President Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need for the youth to embrace technical and vocational education in order to tackle unemployment and to fast-track the development of the country.
Speaking during the combined convocation of the Federal Polytechnic, Ile – Oluji, Ondo State, the President urged the youth to acquire vocational skills.
Buhari emphasised that every developing nation, Nigeria inclusive, must ensure that technical institutions in the country are equipped to achieve an industrialised economy.
Represented at the event by the Chairman of the Governing Board of the National Board for Technical Education, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, he said that no nation could afford to lag behind in a world where technology had taken the centre stage.
The President described as worrisome the wrong attitude of the youth toward vocational education in Nigeria.
He said, “It is imperative to note that although vocational education is important for preparing the necessary manpower for a developing economy, such as ours, the youths are apathetic towards it.
“Enrolment into technical educational institutions at tertiary level is still at an appalling percentage. Records of enrolment into our universities in recent years show a progressive increase, while those of technical institutions have only been marginal.
“The dearth of skilled manpower at the middle level should provide a huge opportunity for our youths who attend technical based institutions or are willing to develop themselves in any of them. Nations all over the world have come to realise the importance of technical and vocational education training in strengthening economies and building formidable industries.”
In his remarks, the Rector of the polytechnic, Prof Adedayo Fasakin, lamented that paucity of funds was a major challenge facing the institution.
“We still face the challenge of low and irregular release, in terms of capital and overhead allowance. So we are calling for the increase in the capital and overhead allocation to the polytechnic.”
Fasakin added that the institution would welcome donations and all forms of support.
At the event no fewer than 292 students were awarded National Diploma certificates, out of which 91 had distinctions.