UNILORIN trains 12,000 students in innovation and skill acquisition

A week-long programme focused on innovation and skill development is now being attended by over 12,000 students from the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).

The aim, it was gathered, is to discover future talents in innovation among the participants.In an effort to promote entrepreneurship and lower unemployment among graduates, the university’s Technical and Entrepreneurship Centre (TEC) partnered with six other African universities to host the “TEC-ASBE Innovation Week” initiative.

Speaking on the sidelines of the weeklong programme, Director, TEC, Prof Raheem Adebimpe, said, “The world over, emphasis is on innovation and no longer on reading Medicine, Geography, Law, Accounting.

“As important as they are, we discover they’re not enough”, he said.

Adebimpe, a professor of Geography at the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ilorin, said the emphasis of the present administration of the vice-chancellor of the university, Professor Wahab Egbewole (SAN), is to intentionally reduce unemployability.

“Innovation is being celebrated worldwide and different universities have a way of doing it. In our case, we’re setting aside this week and part of next week to celebrate innovation among our students”, he said.

Adebimpe said a total of 12,000 students registered online to participate in one vocation/talent or the other in the programme, adding, “There will be N1 million prizes for winners for start-up and scale-up of their chosen innovation.

“There will be N500,000, N300,000, and N200,000 for the first winner, second winner, and third winner, respectively.

“The truth of the matter is that no nation develops based on natural resources. If you like to sell the whole oil, it won’t make us rich. It’s what we do with our hands that can take us out of poverty. The resources abound and you can make fortunes out of materials around you.

“The students union took interest and they are involved. On Variety Night, there will be visiting carefully selected celebrities like Femi Adebayo and Wunmi Toriola, who are also alumni making waves outside what they studied in the university.

“With the inception of the new administration of Professor Olasupo Egbewole SAN as vice chancellor of the university, his emphasis is to intentionally reduce unemployability. How do we do that? We must fashion out an innovative way of ensuring that students have things to lay their hands on apart from the degree they’re carrying around.”

“Kwara State First Lady, Olufolake Abdulrazaq, Vice Chancellor of UNILORIN, commissioner, and vice chancellors of six universities in Africa that make up ASBE will be in attendance.

“300-Level students are in the skill acquisition category programme for about 81 skills, while the talent hunt is for all levels of university students.”