From Tony Osauzo, Benin 

The Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, (IUO), Okada, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, has said that the role of the University in fostering entrepreneurial culture amongst students and staff is critical to national development because entrepreneurs have the power to shape the world by developing versatile skills and profitable business schemes needed for human development. 

The Vice Chancellor who stated this yesterday at the 10th edition of the Students Production Exhibition of the (Dr.) David Osunde Centre for Entrepreneurial Skills Acquisition of the University, explained that it was in tandem with the institution’s overarching goal of ensuring that ever graduate leaves the University with at least one skill that will him or her to readily find a profitable niche an economy where youth unemployment has climbed to over 30 percent. 

“The making of an Entrepreneur goes beyond learning developing a skill. Therefore, the University adopts a multi-faceted approach in achieving our objectives in this era. It involves Entrepreneurship pedagogy at 200 Level irrespective of discipline, Entrepreneurship mentorship, Enterprise incubation, Creation hubs and encouraging start-ups while on campus”, Prof. Ezemonye added. 

He said in line with the University’s entrepreneurial Orientation, it has introduced skill set and Master Classes which are infused in all academic disciplines taught at the university adding that all students go through the programmes, acquire specific skills of choice, driven by passion and determination to excel in life. 

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“Furthermore, we have leverage on the industry-academia interface by ensuring that all postgraduates theses and dissertations are supervised by academic and relevant industry staff. This has made it possible for our graduates to become adepts in the theory and practice of their profession”, Prof. Ezemonye explained and enjoined all students who have gone through the programme to use the knowledge acquired to further develop themselves and create a world of independence and freedom for themselves. 

In his lecture, the guest speaker at the event, Dr. Friday Okpara who spoke on “Entrepreneurial Mindset”, noted that the nation’s educational system does not prepare students to develop entrepreneurial mind but to carry files from one office to another, adding that without students acquiring skill in school, when they get out they would be nothing. 

Dr. Okpara, an official of Small, Medium Enterprises, Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), explained that starting a business has three Cs which stand for Concept, Capacity and Capital, pointing out that an entrepreneur must establish his niche and identify opportunity. 

He told the students that it is while they are in school that they should start developing their entrepreneurial skills saying “take that decision now”, even as he noted that the type of education students are receiving at the Igbinedion University will prepare them for life.