By Akin Akande, Abuja
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has said that findings from the recently conducted Labour Market Observatory Project (LMOP) study on the manufacturing sector would facilitate curriculum review in the tertiary education system so that Nigerian graduates can be equipped with relevant knowledge and skills.
The NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okojie stated this in Abuja yesterday at the meeting of the National Project Steering Committee of the Labour Market Information System.
According to him, the lack of a regular study to advise the Nigerian University system on the graduate need of the labour market has led to a mismatch which he noted must be addressed urgently.
He lamented that the result was that the quality and focus of the training by the universities were not in tune with the needs of the society and has led to high unemployment as many of the graduates are perceived to lack skills needed by employers of labour.
Professor Okojie emphasised that if education and training institutions are not addressing market place skills, market inefficiency may be compounded as individuals invest time and money in skills that do not provide necessary or relevant training.
He added that employers’ needs may not be met in such a situation thereby creating inefficiencies and unnecessary costs in the provision of products and services.
His words: “There is no doubt that the nation has a glut in the supply of graduate labour as the situation on the ground shows that the demand for graduate labour is far below the supply.
The excess supply of graduate labour in any economy has the tendency to force down the amount/ salaries that employers are willing to pay since they can recruit other idle but able, willing and ready hands that will take the job even with less pay. It could also lead to other social vices like robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, prostitution and other forms of youth restiveness.”