Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin
The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday called for adequate preparation for Nigeria to survive in the post-oil years.
He said the post-oil years could be nearer than expected, calling for better attention to technical education, agriculture and enterprise.
“The whole world is preparing for post-oil years and this means we must consciously wean ourselves off the unhelpful addiction to the oil wealth. We must promote skills acquisition, agribusiness, and enterprise,” AbdulRazaq said at the 26th Convocation Ceremony of the Kwara State Polytechnic in Ilorin, the state capital.
The Governor was represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government Professor Mamman Saba Jibril.
He described as lacking depth earlier suggestions that Nigeria should scrap Polytechnic education, saying that the coming post oil years open the window for institutions offering technical education to redirect the country to the path of sustainable growth and self-reliance.
“Kwara under us will promote agribusiness, skills acquisition, private initiatives and local technological inventions,” he said.
“Among other plans, the ongoing process to renovate the Kwara State Library, equip it with fast internet facilities for e-learning, and make it the launchpad for our innovation hub is a step in this direction and we will follow it through, God willing. We will support technological inventions, especially from our own institutions, that would help to strengthen our agricultural value chain.
“This message is for the Kwara State Polytechnic and other technical institutions as it is for the lucky graduands. Dear graduands, I want you to imagine a future without petrol dollars or a future where robots would take over most of the jobs now handled by humans. This is why the entrepreneurial and technical skills you are taught here are very important. We are headed to a time when the 9-5 job cycle will either go out of fashion or would not be able to meet the challenges of the 21st century. So, I appeal to you to buckle down as you get set to face the world outside of the four walls of your schools. I urge you to consider becoming job providers rather than job seekers.”
Speaking earlier, the Rector of the institution, Engineer Abdul Jimoh Muhammed said the convocation ceremony is for 2918/2019 National Diploma and Higher Diploma graduands of the polytechnic.
He commended the state governor, Mallam Abdulraman Abdulrazaq for his affection and dedication to the education sector stressing that since he assumed the mantle of leadership as governor of the state, he has created an enabling environment for the management of the institution to discharge its duties effectively.
Engineer Muhammed highlighted some of the challenges facing the polytechnic such as funding, ageing nature of the structures, hotel accommodation and fencing of the polytechnic.
He however commended the state government for restoring the monthly subversion to the institution which was withdrawn five years ago by the past administration.