Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, yesterday, noted that the unemployment in the country will continue to rise because of the increase in the number graduates from the country’s institutions of higher learning every year without corresponding job openings.
Mallam Sanusi stated this in Calabar, Cross River State, in a lecture titled Employment Skills, Values, Opportunities and Challenges of University Graduating Students at the annual University of Calabar lecture series.
He noted that with the expanding opportunities for university education in Nigeria, which are without corresponding increase in job openings, the unemployment situation in Nigeria can only get worse.
“From five Universities in the ’60s, the number has increased to over 100 and about 96 polytechnics and 47 monotechnics as at 2012. Concomitantly, students enrolment has also been increasing significantly. In 2006 and 2007, the total enrolment in higher institutions in Nigeria stood at 12.37 million and 1.98 respectively,” he said.
He said that acquisition of knowledge had replaced the possession of natural resources in driving development equation world over and that any country that lagged behind in knowledge acquisition could not make commensurate progress compared to other countries.
Sanusi explained that changing trends in the global economy were knowledge based and driven by advances in information and communication technology, which had significantly raised the stakes in the labour market.
“Knowledge has become an important factor propelling growth in the world economy today and as a matter of fact, natural resources are increasingly becoming less important in the development equation.”
He said that employers demand for graduates, who are not only technically knowledgeable in their chosen fields but have what he called complementary life skills to deliver the highest possible value to organisations.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. James Epoke, on his part, said the University had embraced the Power Intervention Programme of the CBN and called for assistance from the apex bank.