The University of Lagos on Tuesday commenced a 10-day intensive entrepreneurship training for its lecturers in a bid to uncover the business components attached to their respective disciplines.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the lecturers were drawn from the various departments and faculties in the university.
They were expected to be able to transfer the knowledge acquired from the training to their students so as to nurture and equip them with skills for development.
In his opening remark at the workshop, tagged: “Train-the-Trainers Capacity Building Programme,” the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the training would serve as an intervention tool for the challenges of unemployment in Nigeria and Africa at large.
NAN also reports that the training was organised in collaboration with the Bank of Industry.
According to Ogundipe, the university is passionate about building the capacity of students and young faculty members who will discover and develop the creativity and entrepreneurial skills toward product development and new business ventures.
He said: “The whole essence of the programme is to bring our teachers over to this entrepreneurship and skills development centre of the university and give them the requisite exposure in their respective areas of specialisation.
“At the end of the training, they are to take back what they have learnt to the students in their classes.
“Thereafter, the students can be brought here for bigger exposure.
”At the end of it all, we support the students with startup grants for those with businesses, assist in getting their businesses registered and also get mentors for them.
“The lecturers are drawn from all departments and faculties across the university.
“So far, I can say that our dream of equipping our students with skills is yielding fruit, but we are still not there yet.
“We want more of this kind of programme and partnerships.”
The acting Director, Entrepreneurial and Skills Development Centre, Dr. Sunday Adebisi, said the major reason for the training for the lecturers was to discover the entrepreneur components of their respective disciplines.
According to Adebisi, this will fire up the instinct in their students.
He said: “Some people may ask why the teachers first and not the students.
“Well, if these teachers do not know, it can be near impossible for the students to know.
“So, what we are doing here today is a 10-day rigorous training for our lecturers.
”At the end of the day, there is going to be examination for them, as they are going to be certified as entrepreneur educators.
“It will now be very easy to deliver what they have learnt in their own disciplines.
“They will see the business components in disciplines such as Engineering, Medicine, Geography, Education, Architecture and others.”
According to him, the programme will not be limited to the university, as it will be a continuous exercise.
Adebisi, an Associate Professor of Business Administration, added other universities across the country and the African continent would also benefit from the initiative.
“Unilag is the first university to kick start this initiative and we hope that by the time it is taken to other universities in Africa, the issue of unemployment among our youths will be a thing of the past.”
He, however, said the major challenge facing entrepreneurship in the country was the business environment.
He said: “The business environment in the country is bedeviled with a lot of challenges, but the beauty of what we are doing now is the fact that the mind of government is equally activated.
”Government understands that it cannot provide all the jobs that are needed by our teeming youths.
“And that is why we need to build an enabling environment that will encourage youths to use their skills.
“We need to support them and provide the environment that will make this happen.
“I think government can do more by creating an ecosystem in the country that will make doing business very easy.”
Also speaking, the Representative of BOI, Oluwaseun Tubi, said the bank was committed to its partnership with the university to ensure that it met its entrepreneurial incubation and innovation drive.
Tubi, the Chief Information Security Officer of the bank, also added that it was no longer a hidden fact that the challenges facing the country was enormous, adding, however, that BOI was always looking for ways out of these through collaborations.
He said: “Most importantly, we understand that actions are required to be able to address these challenges.
“When we met with UNILAG, we immediately saw what they were doing and where they were tilting to and we felt the strong urge to partner with them.
“This is the first university to embark on this kind of initiative and we will be participating in it with the joy in our mind that it will become a model that can be replicated across other locations.”
Speaking earlier, Prof. Folasade Ogundola, the institution’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development Services, stressed the need for various heads of faculties to always imbibe good leadership qualities at all times.
According to her, such good leadership must commence with them as individuals.
Ogundola said: “For us to achieve a common goal, we must be able to lead ourselves first.
“We must be a 360 degree leader who must be able to be coaches and influencers.
“We must prepare everyone for leadership and respect the importance of those who work around us.”
Ogunsola, whose office oversees the Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Quality Assurance and Internalisation portfolios in the university, added that a good leader must also be patient and understanding, and strive to value and build relationships.
“We must not have to be friends for us to work together,” she added.
She urged Nigerians to always think positive about Nigeria by doing something that would change the narratives of the country, both locally and internationally.
According to her, this also applies to members of the university community by way of focusing on those great achievements that have been recorded by the university and which have attracted positive influence from across the globe.