Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State has decried the high level of graduate unemployment in Nigeria, saying skill acquisition and entrepreneurship were critical towards tackling the menace.
Alia stated this on Thursday when he paid a solidarity visit to the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc. Sonny Echono, in Abuja.
The Governor said what he discovered as responsible for high rate of unemployment in Nigeria is that a lot of degrees have been acquired by youths in the country but the skills are not attached to those degrees.
“This is one of the reasons why both graduates and those who have not attended the four walls of education roam the street across the nation,” he said.
He noted that his administration would give education top priority in Benue, seeking partnership with the Fund to boost the quality of tertiary education delivery in Benue.
Alia said his administration would go back to the drawing board in a bid to revitalise education, adding that tertiary institutions in Benue were known for quality and scholarship in the time past and emphasised that the lost glory would be restored.
He said his desire was to promote skill acquisition at all level of education and informal sector in his state, so as to make young people employers of labour.
He said: “We are here on solidarity visit with my brother, the Executive Secretary of TETFund. I’m honored to be here having understood how much he has been doing, promoting education nationwide and improving on the teaching and learning infrastructure as well as making the educational wheel of the nation to run and running smoothly.
“Benue state is also a beneficiary of the projects from you and the good people of the state have conveyed our appreciation to your establishment. I’m just 8 days old as Governor and I’m looking forward to partnering with your establishment in the collaborative efforts to move the education forward in our nation.”
Executive Secretary of TETFund in his remark, described Alia as man called to rescue Benue from the quagmire and pledged to support his administration.
He said as part of the parting gift of the immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari, the Finance Act 2023 was endorsed that has now increased the Education Tax, which is the primary source of revenue of TETFund to three per cent.