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Reps seek automatic employment for first class graduates

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Federal Ministry of Education to liaise with relevant government agencies to provide automatic employment for first-class graduates of Nigerian tertiary institutions.

The House reached this resolution upon the adoption of a motion sponsored by Chinedu Martins from Imo at plenary, saying the policy should be extended to graduates of courses such as Medicine and Pharmacy whose certificates are not graded.

Moving the motion, Martins noted that Nigerian Universities produce hundreds of First-Class graduates annually at the end of every academic year, with a great percentage of them finding it difficult to secure employment and contribute to nation-building.

The lawmaker noted that some Universities reward their first-class graduates with automatic employment as assistant lecturers or student lecturers in their specific courses.

He expressed concerns about the growing rate at which employable First-Class graduates in Nigeria are unable to secure jobs thus, forcing them to leave the country and become assets to other countries that offer employment.

Martins said according to research, Nigeria has continued to unwittingly give away her best brains and intellectuals to other countries who by virtue of their robust policies on a value system, reward diligence and excellence as can be seen in the exodus of medical professionals from Nigeria to other countries.

He expressed optimism that automatic employment for first-class graduates will not only serve as a source of motivation for students to work harder but will also maximize their potential in preparation for different economic roles, future leadership positions and ultimately reduce unemployment while helping to achieve development targets.

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Martins said the House is: “Also aware that recently, the University of Lagos offered employment to no fewer than 100 graduates of the University who made First-Class in various fields of study in the University, and it is common knowledge that some firms in the country consider applicants with First-class honours before other categories of graduates, which is in line with global best practices.

“Concerned that same job opportunities are not obtainable for First-class graduates in the Ministries Departments and Agencies and Parastatals, who are by virtue of their position as government agencies, saddled with the responsibilities of driving the country’s economic and Infrastructural development.

“Cognizant of Nigeria’s inability to leave the status of a developing nation may not be unconnected with the insensitivity and lack of political will of the ruling class and policymakers to introduce a reward system that ensures that the best brains automatically occupy important positions according to their area of competence.

“Also note that reports have shown that in seeking admissions to Universities, students consider countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Australia, China, Canada as it increases their chances of being employed upon graduation.”

The House, while adopting the motion, mandated its Committees on Tertiary Education and Services, and Labour, Employment and Productivity to ensure compliance.