• seeks stronger partnership with TETFund

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, said he has realized why many Nigerian graduates are unemployable after spending years in school.

The governor, said he had observed that a lot of university degrees have been acquired by youths in the country but skills are not attached to those university degrees, hence many of the graduates roam the streets in search of jobs after school.

The governor, in a meeting with the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Sonny Echono, in Abuja, on Thursday, insisted that skill acquisition and entrepreneurship education remain critical towards tackling the menace of unemployment in Nigeria, hence he promised to champion education system that would provide skills and other hands-on training and experience required to be relevant in 21st century world.

Fr. Alia said his administration will return to the drawing board to revitalize education in the state, saying that tertiary institutions in Benue State were hitherto known for quality and scholarship and promised to restore the lost glory.

He said his desire is to promote skill acquisition at all levels of education and informal sector so as to make young people self-reliant and employers of labour.

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“My team and I are here on solidarity visit. I have understood how much you has been doing for our state, promoting education nationwide and improving on the teaching and learning infrastructure, as well as making the educational wheel of the nation to run smoothly.

“Benue state is a beneficiary of the projects from you and the good people of the state appreciates you. I am looking forward to partnering with your establishment, TETFund, in the collaborative efforts to move the education forward in our nation,” he said.

The TETFund boss, Echono, in his remarks, described Fr. Alia, as man called to rescue Benue State from quagmire, and pledged to support his administration in possible ways within the laws of the Fund in revitalizing tertiary education in the state.

He informed the governor that education tax has been raised to three per cent, following the signing of the Finance Act 2023 by immediate-past President Muhammadu Buhari, an indication that more funds would be available for several interventions in tertiary institutions.

He also confirmed that TETFund was already intervening in about eight to nine public tertiary institutions in Benue State, with massive infrastructure development and training of teachers among others in both the institutions owned by Federal and State.