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Many Nigerian graduates are not work-ready – Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede

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Nigerian graduates

Nigerian banker and investor, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede has stated that a significant proportion of Nigerian graduates are not work-ready as they lack the skills most employers are looking for.

He said this during the launch of the Youth of Enterprise (YOE) Programme, a flagship initiative by EnterpriseNGR to address the high rates of unemployment and underemployment amongst Nigerian youth.

According to the philanthropist, it is impossible to achieve the aspirations of a developed Nigeria without tackling the problem of unemployment and employability in Nigeria.

What they are saying

Aig-Imoukhuede who is the founder and chairman of Coronation Capital Limited stated the need for concerted efforts by all relevant stakeholders to solve problems around unemployment in Nigeria. He said that many graduates are not employable because they are not equipped with the right skill.

  • But more than just what seems to be an oversupply of labour, there is also the problem of the quality of human capital being produced. A large proportion of our graduates are not work-ready as they lack the skills most employers are looking for. This employability issue is what the YOE seeks to tackle,” the former GMD/CEO of Access Bank Plc said.
  • Noting that the quality of human capital is a critical factor in production, he said that the YOE will help to address the high rates of unemployment and underemployment amongst Nigerian youth as well as to democratise access to career opportunities for them.
  • He said, “Once we are able to improve the quality of labour in Nigeria, we will positively impact the productive output of the country as a whole. We can also position to be a global labour outsourcing outpost like India and China and this has been made even easier with advancements in technology and the post-pandemic work-from-home culture.
  • “Our youth after going through our world class internship programme can be employed by firms operating in Nigeria or international firms based in any part of the world. We are confident that quality talent always finds gainful employment, hence our reason for focusing on the employability side of the problem as a conduit to resolving the unemployment/underemployment challenges in Nigeria.

Obi Ibekwe, CEO of EnterpriseNGR stressed that the initiative would address the lack of employability skills and lack of access to guidance and information on career choices and opportunities.

Employability soft skills that make the difference between success and failure in the workplace and they include communication skills, Initiative and problem-solving skills, critical thinking, planning and organizing skills and so on. The current school curricula do not emphasize these skills and yet these are the same skills employers look for in prospective employees,” she said, adding that the programme would help to address these.