In its determination to tackle militancy through constructive engagements in the Niger Delta region, the Federal Government has commenced a partnership with Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji-Arakeji, to train youths of the area on entrepreneurial hands-on skills acquisition.
The partnership between the government and JABU, an institution that prides itself as the first entrepreneurial university in Nigeria, is aimed at reducing the negative effects on militancy on oil production, which is the mainstay of the country’s economy.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Sola Fajana, who disclosed this at a briefing to herald the week-long activities marking the 10th year anniversary of the institution’s establishment and its 7th convocation ceremonies, said the initiative which is implemented by government through the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, has already commenced.
According to him, the partnership has further confirmed the preeminence of JABU among Nigerian universities in entrepreneurial training, an attribute that has seen the institution offering trainings in vocational studies to many beneficiaries who have been sponsored by many bodies and government agencies.
The university don recalled that JABU was currently training beneficiaries in a different partnership that involved the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Christ Apostolic Mission, an arm of its proprietors, the Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide.
Describing JABU as, “the first entrepreneurial university in Nigeria,” Fajana announced that the partnership with the Niger Delta Ministry is designed to impart knowledge on hundreds of youths drawn from all the states in the Niger Delta region.
Stressing that the uniqueness of JABU is in the teaching of at least a vocational job to all its students regardless of disciplines to prepare them for a self-reliant existence, Fajana said that is the way to go in a developing country like Nigeria that is facing many socio-economic challenges including high level of white-collar unemployment.
He said: “From all indications, entrepreneurship is at the heart of JABU, and this spirit has always characterized our university both in the undergraduate and graduate degree programmes.
“Soon, we will evolve a master-piece on turning ideas into business potential, and by extension, to entrepreneurial ground-breaking in all our campus-wide disciplines.”
Consolidating on this feat, which included an initiative to train thousands of youths of Osun State under the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), Fajana disclosed further that the institution has also commenced several linkages and collaboration ventures with various bodies and agencies.
He said: “We have started the process of increasing the number of our partnerships, through Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with industries and institutions to better leverage our resources across the university.
“Specifically, we will coordinate, integrate and strengthen internationalization activities across the university to create a truly international university. All these, and other opportunities not yet on the horizon, will provide ways for JABU to take the leasing role, as we move into another decade.”