Dr Haliru Bala, Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission (NPC), in Kebbi State, on Tuesday urged Nigerian universities to focus on producing industry-ready graduates.
He stated this while speaking as Chairman of the occasion at the 20th Edition of Seminar Series of the Federal University Birnin Kebbi (FUBK), held at the permanent site of the institution in Birnin Kebbi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the seminar featured a lecture entitled: “Impact of National Population and Housing Census on Education and Economic Development.”
Bala observed that in the current knowledge-based economy, university education must go far beyond the usual teaching, research and community service by lecturers as it used to be.
“University administration and more specifically, lecturers must prove themselves ready to embrace the emergent fourth mission of university education which focuses on fully certified entrepreneurial education; the teaching of hand-on-skills that would transform their students into industry-ready graduates.
“Our mission as academics is to provide practical step-by-step learning assistance and emotional support to our students who rightly look up to us for intellectual and moral direction as they chart their own career paths in a changing learning ecosystem.
“I know that we all share this common goal that is very critical to the delivery of quality education to our students; and as an educator myself, I know the daunting challenges you face in the system that has very little motivation or reward mechanism,” he said.
In his speech, the university’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Muhammad Zaiyan-Umar, appreciated the NPC Federal Commissioner for accepting to be the Chairman of the occasion as well as ex-VCs for honouring the invitation and attended the programme.
Zaiyan-Umar charged students of the university to take advantage of the lecture series as well as other lectures alike to enhance their knowledge in all spheres of life.
Presenting his paper, the speaker, Dr Haruna Halilu-Pai, Department of Demography and Social Statistics, FUBK, said census aimed at improving the quality of life and standard of living of the citizenry, assuring that it will aid government to plan how to distribute scarce resources.
While reiterating that census ‘does not count people but enumerate people’, Halilu-Pai said it required that each person and building are enumerated separately and only once.
According to him, census is critical to socio-economic development of any nation, noting that qualitative education is a sure key to human capital development.
NAN reports that the lecture series were well attended by both staff and students of the university and beyond.