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Igbinedion Varsity mulls establishment of firm to market students’ products

Igbinedion Varsity mulls establishment of firm to market students’ products

The management of Igbinedion University, Okada (I.U.O), Edo State, has said it would establish a firm for the marketing of products produced by its students under the institution’s mandatory entrepreneurship and skills acquisition programme.

Lawrence Ezemonye, the vice-chancellor of the university, disclosed this in Okada during the institution’s 10th students’ product exhibition of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition.

Ezemonye said the firm was geared towards the commercialisation of all the products being produced by students every year.

He said the proceeds from the sales of the products would be reverted to the programme to develop it better.

According to him, “We are setting up a firm for the EPS (Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition) programme; it is to commercialise all the products we have seen here.

“Every year, products will be sold, and the funds returned to the school account and reverted to the EPS programme to develop it further and better,” he said.

The Vice-chancellor said the exhibition marked the formal conclusion of the training, which was mandatory for 300-level students in all disciplines, after they had been exposed to 14 different skill sets.

He described the role of the university in fostering entrepreneurial culture amongst students and staffers as critical to national development.

“This is in tandem with our overarching goal of ensuring that every graduate leaves the university with at least one skill that will enable him/her to find a profitable niche in an economy where youth unemployment has climbed to over 30 percent.

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“The making of an entrepreneur goes beyond learning and developing a skill. Therefore, the university adopts a multifaceted approach in achieving our objectives in this area,” he also said.

The guest speaker at the event, Friday Okpara, commended the school’s management for toeing the right path of inculcating entrepreneurial minds into their students and bequeathing to them practical components of the skills.

Okpara, who is the director, Partnership and Coordination, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), however, expressed regret that many universities were not preparing their students for the challenges after school, particularly how to stand on their own.

He opined that students were rather being prepared to carry files around, looking for jobs that were not available.

The SMEDAN director said that a meeting would be held with the institution’s management on how the agency could deepen and broaden partnership in entrepreneurial development with the university.

He urged the students to tap from the entrepreneurial mindset of the founder of the institution, Gabriel Igbinedion, who, he said, found a gap in the Nigerian education system and established the university.

Okpara, who described every challenge as an opportunity, called on the students to recognise opportunities and take a step.

He explained that starting a business has three Cs which stand for Concept, Capacity and Capital, pointing out that an entrepreneur must establish his niche and identify opportunity.

Earlier in her address, Mary Josiah, director, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition of the university, said the programme offered mentorship and advisory services to students by bringing successful entrepreneurs from the industry to train them in various skills.

She said that certificates would be issued to successful student-trainees at the end of the programme.