A former World Bank Vice President (Africa), Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has decried the high rate of unemployment in the country.
She made her position known via her Twitter handle @obyezeks on Saturday.
Ezekwesili’s lamentation on the level of unemployment came on the backdrop of reports that hundreds of thousands of unemployed graduates turned up for the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, recruitment test in different centres across the country.
She tweeted, “We have a grave problem on our hands. As Minister of Education between June 2006 and April 2007, I had (the) responsibility tackling the employability pillar. We did try”.
Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, recalled that the ministry came up with the Vocational Enterprise Institutions and Innovation Enterprise Institutions, which were approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide young Nigerians alternative routes to higher education.
A cursory check of the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE website shows that the VEIs and IEIs “are private institutions that will offer vocational, technical, technology or professional education and training at post-basic and tertiary levels to equip secondary school leavers and working adults with vocational skills and knowledge to meet the increasing demand for technical manpower by the various sectors of the nation’s economy”.
Ezekwesili noted that under her leadership, graduates of VEIs and IEIs were awarded National Vocational Certificate and National Innovation Diploma, respectively.
“Our team fully delivered on the VEI and IEI as a new National Certification awarded by the NBTE”, she tweeted.
However, she decried that the initiative had been abandoned.