The immediate past chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, Dr. ABC Orjiako, has advocated a review of the nation’s education curriculum to meet modern trends of producing graduates with skills, ANAMBRA PEOPLE reports.
Orjiako, as guest lecturer at the third Arthur Mbanefo Lecture Series, titled “Global Digital Transformation and the Nigerian Paradox,” said the current education system was churning out youth without skills.
He gave the lecture in honour of 92nd birthday of Chief Arthur Mbanefo, which was hosted by the Arthur Mbanefo Digital Research Centre (AMDRC), University of Lagos.
Orjiako said the thrust of his lecture was the need to review the education system that was merely producing youth with certificates without skills, and it was also a wake call for the country to embrace technology.
He said, “We must invest in technical education for the teeming youth. We need to revise our curriculum across all tiers of education, from primary to tertiary, to address the skills that will be required in the digital transformation of the country.
“Critical partnership that will drive this will be between the tech sector with the likes of Microsoft, Google and ‘Yabacon Valley,’ in collaborating with our schools, to set up the required talent pipeline for our digital transformation. We will require policy direction from the relevant government authorities in this regard.”
Orjiako observed that the poor state of the Nigerian education was not a new talking point, noting that, for the digital revolution to happen, government must invest in education.
He insisted that education would play a vital role if Nigeria were to transform in the digital space. The Seplat chairman stressed that emphasis must also be placed on entrepreneurship and technical skills education to meet demand for these skills in the future.
“The literacy level in Africa stands at less than 62% and lags behind the World average of 90%. This gap needs to be addressed with quality education that is not only tailored towards traditional learning but the emerging knowledge areas such as tech and the digital economy.”
He explained that AMDRC has set the pace in the area of research to provide solutions to issues confronting the society and hoped other centres would emulate them.
The former Chairman of Seplat Energy said Nigeria has the potentials to be a World superpower because of its huge population, adding, “this can turn out to be a blessing or a curse depending on how we manage our youth.”
In his remarks, Chief Mbanefo, said AMDRC was established to drive research on topical issues confronting the country and that the lecture by Dr. Orjiako is one of the avenues to find solution to the nation’s economy challenges.
Mbanefo, who clocked 92, said he is ashamed of the state-of- the-affairs of the country, stating, ‘’if you have the opportunity to serve the country put in your best. We are not supposed to be where we are today.”
He wondered why Nigeria after 62 years of nationhood cannot produce basic things needed in the country and that rather we are depleting our foreign reservoir through importation.
“Government is not interested in education. The Ministry of Education is not doing well. We are part of the commity of nations but we have been left behind. This country needs the support of everybody to do what we can do to help it.”
Acting Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Lucian Chukwu, said the lecture is part of activities to celebrate Chief Mbanefo’s 92 birthday and acknowledged his contributions to nation building.
Prof. Chukwu disclosed that the lecture series has provided solutions to numerous challenges confronting the country, especially the education sector.
Chairman of the occasion and also chairman, Board of Directors Citibank, Dr. Yemi Cardoso, said the donation of the centre in 2019 by Chief Mbanefo would contribute to higher education in the country.