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Expert stresses ‘Agripreneurship’ to combat recession

Chief Executive Officer Niji Group Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kolawole Adeniji, has urged Nigeria to key into agricultural entrepreneurship, describing it as the panacea to wriggling out of the recession.

Adeniji, who delivered the fifth convocation lecture of the Osun State Polytechnic (OSPOLY), Iree, noted that entrepreneurial studies, especially through agriculture, is the only panacea to poverty and unemployment in Nigeria.

Adeniji’s lecture had as theme: ‘Vocational and entrepreneurial education: A veritable tools for job creation and self reliance’

He said: “With this dwindling economy, creativity, entrepreneurship and skills acquisition are what the Nigerian institutions should encourage its teeming youths at pursuing.

“Vocational and Technical Education as a practical-oriented education, provides variety of opportunities for youths to develop their potentials. This development will at the end lead to the much-needed technological growth in all facets of the nation’s economy.”

He said agriculture requires skills and tested methodology to boost efficiency, record keeping and passion on the part of trainees.

Commenting on the lecture, chairman of the convocation lecture, Prof Olu Obafemi, charged governments to make agricultural and entrepreneurship education a compulsory course at all levels of education in Nigeria. This, said Obafemi from the University of Ilorin, would provide lasting solutions to the poor economy and unemployment.

The combined convocation sent forth over 14,000 students who graduated between 2012 and 2015 academic sessions.

Rector of the institution Dr Jacob Olusola Agboola, recalled how the institution began as a satellite campus of The Polytechnic, Ibadan in 1981, and eventually became autonomous in October 12, 1992, following the signing of its bill into law.

Agboola said since the last convocation. The institution had secured accreditation to mount three new National Diploma programmes – Arts and Design, Welding and Fabrication and Agricultural and Bio-Environmental Technology.

Agboola praised the collaboration of the institution with Virginia State University (VSU), United States in  Agricultural Education Technology, research, and staff and students exchange programmes, which he said had started yielding fruits.

Also, he said collaborations with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), particularly the Winrock International in Agricultural Education and Technology, was impacting its host community by extending the outcome of agricultural research to local farmers under the ‘Farmer to Farmer’ (F2F) initiative of the institution.

“This is an offshoot of the MoU the Institution has with VSU. In the last two years of the relationship, eight volunteers from US through USAID/Winrock International have visited the institution to organise workshops in various areas, including: pedagogical training, library services, and agricultural education,” he said, adding that about 20 academic staff members have acquired that doctorate degrees across various fields.

Earlier in his address, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, charged other tertiary institutions to borrow a leaf from OSPOLY by prioritising entrepreneurship education.

Aregbesola was represented by his Deputy Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori.

SOURCE: THE NATION NEWSPAPER

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