ABUJA – The National Universities Commission (NUC) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, (SMEDAN) are collaborating to empower universities in Nigeria to run entrepreneur courses.
Prof. William Qurix, the Vice Chancellor of Kaduna State University, made the plan in Abuja on Tuesday at the opening of the 2014 retreat for Coordinators of the Network for African Student Entrepreneur (NASE).
He said the two organisations would source for funds for the take-off of the courses through the NASE platform.
Quirix explained that NASE was conceived in 2010 at a conference in Canada to provide a structure for universities in Nigeria to begin entrepreneur courses.
He said the project was also aimed at encouraging students to start businesses after graduation to enable them to be job creators and not seekers.
The vice-chancellor said three universities, including the Kaduna State University, had been selected to start the programme in three categories.
He said Kaduna State University had the mandate to provide an entrepreneur network that was launched in 20013.
“Bayero University, Kano, got the mandate to develop the centre for entrepreneurship, while University of Abuja was directed to establish a centre for continual education,’’ he said.
According to him, all universities in the country have been directed to form NASE clubs and majority have established such centres.
He said that those yet to establish the centres were working hard to comply with the directive.
Earlier, an entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer of new Horizon, Mr John Ekperigin, commended the Federal Government for the initiative.
Ekperigin also hailed NUC for its efforts toward ensuring a successful take-off of the project.
He said the initiative would address the challenges of unemployment faced by thousands of graduates from Nigerian universities yearly.
According to him, the initiative will also strengthen universities’ industrial relationships.
“Therefore, entrepreneurship is imperative if we are to compete favourably with other countries economically.
“The skills Nigerian students acquire in universities today cannot adequately prepare them for the future.
“The only way we can solve most of the problems facing our nation today is to create more jobs for our seven million unemployed citizens,’’ he said. (NAN)