One-Day Dialogue on Understanding Skills Supply and Gaps as Means of Employability in Kano State in Celebration of this Year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) on Tuesday 19th November, 2019 at Mambayya House

In its effort to bring employers with trainers of prospective employees closer to it is services, the Job Placement Information Services (JOPIS) unit of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has on Tuesday 19th November, 2019 organized a one-day dialogue on the theme ‘Understanding Skills Supply and Gaps as Means of Employability in Kano State. The dialogue was held at Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, Kano in celebration of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Global Entrepreneurship Week is a global effort to address problems of employers, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. During one week, each November innovators and job creators who launch startup that brings ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare gather to celebrate the week. GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.

In his opening remarks, the Coordinator of the Job Placement Information Services (JOPIS) Unit of CITAD said that CITAD initiated JOPIS scheme to assist youth looking for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities by bringing information about jobsand entrepreneurship opportunities to them.The main function of the unit is sourcing job opportunities and collaborating with reliable sites advertising job opportunities such as Jobberman, Jobrapido, Myjob in order to connect people looking for jobs. Malam Sagiru Ado said that in celebration of the GEW week, CITAD has been organizing different activities such as public lectures, radio programs, advocacy visits career talks and entrepreneurship quizzes to students of secondary schools to sensitize them and inculcate the sense of entrepreneurship to them since at the grassroots level. He then briefed the participants about the history of the GEW, global activities on GEW and Nigerian activities on GEW.

In his remarks, the Executive Director, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), represented by the Program Coordinator, Malam Isyaku Garba, traced back to the history where he said in the early 80’s there was a lot of job opportunities and people did not cared and paid much attention on white collar jobs because of the number of educated ones at that time was not up to the number we have today. But as a result of increase of unemployed youth and graduate today makes it necessary to acquire basic skills since from university level. He then stressed that they are job opportunities in Nigeria just that we lack qualified personnel with required skills to fulfill the requirement.

Prof Mustapha Hassan Bichi of the Department of Civil Engineering, Bayero University, Kano made the first presentation. He presented on the Skills provided by the Nigerian Institutions. In his presentation, Prof. Bichi said that unemployment has become a major problem bedeviling the lives of youths and graduates causing frustration, depression, dejection and dependency on family members and friends.It is common knowledge that about 80% of graduates in most Nigerian universities find it hard to get employment every year. This is largely due to the curricula of the universities and other tertiary schools with emphasis on training for white-collar jobs. Currently, Nigeria like other developing countries is faced with a number of problems ranging from youth and graduate unemployment, high level of poverty, insurgency, conflict and diseases, insincerity, over dependency on foreign made goods, low economic growth and development, lack of capacity and required skills to move the economy forward and urbanization.Due to these and other reasons that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Universities Commission (NUC), introduced Entrepreneurship Education (EE), which is aimed at equipping tertiary students with entrepreneurial skills, attitudes and competencies in order to be job creators and not just job hunters.

Malam Adamu Ahmad, Regional Manager, Integrated Corporate Services (ICS), Kano made the second presentation. Malam Adamu explained that ICS Outsourcing is Nigeria’s leading Outsourcing provider incorporated in August 1994 and since then offering a comprehensive range of outsourcing services and provide bespoke business support solutions to all kinds and sizes of businesses. He then decried that the qualities they need, they don’t get from our people. The idea behind each business according to Malam Adamu is to survive and that is why if he does not employ quality people the company will not survive. He then finally said that communication skills and computer literacy are basic skills required by the employers. He made effort at different times to enlighten and sensitize northern youth through tertiary institutions but they failed to catch up.

Malam Baita Suleiman of Sharada Small Scale Industries expressed his worries about the attitude of most of the students sent to them for Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES). He said that most of them only do not want the practical knowledge, and concentrated only on theories. He drew attention of the Nigerian institutions on the importance of imparting knowledge through local languages as it happens in other developed countries. Engr. Jafar Suleiman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Kano Branch requested the second presenter to give them time on their mentoring program.

In his final remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Malam Umar Muhammad, Director Recruitment and Training, Kano State Senior Secondary Schools Management Board (KSSSSMB) associated the problems with miss of priority, corruption and failure to continue with 433 educational systems. He then thanked and appealed to CITAD to keep on sensitizing and helping job seekers succeed at employment and entrepreneurship support opportunities

Participants at the dialogue were members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Kano Branch, Muryar Talaka, MSI Text Solution, Sharada Small Scale Association, Kano Chamber Of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA), Kano State Senior Secondary Schools Board (KSSSSMB), media and Civil Society Organizations. Different issues were raised and discussed during the general comments, some of the issues were:

  • The only way to change the mindset of graduates to embrace Entrepreneurship is by giving them orientation right from their background. Building a strong foundation of entrepreneurship from their primary to Tertiary level of education.
  • The notion that the northerners lack equal opportunity of securing most white collar jobs with the non northerners because that they do not have basic skills required is not true for the following reasons.
  • Graduate from the north lack full family support in embracing entrepreneurship or learning skills.
  • Graduates from the north lack adaptability skills and they do not want to be far away from their families compared to graduates from the south who tend to have high ability of enduring every kind of condition, no matter how hectic the location and the work is, they tends to have more tolerant and enduring skills.
  • In seeking for any job opportunity it is important to take note of the kind of email addresses to present, because a time graduates present emails that are not presentable so one should take notes of names used o emails.
  • Also to acquire any job, you must be mindful on how you mediate, mode of approach and reaction as well as body language.
  • Students should be taught more practical on entrepreneurship than theory (less spoken words more of actions) this will help to reduce the rate of crimes and employment in the country.
  • There is a difference between a university graduate and a polytechnic graduate. University students are meant to supervise command and direct while polytechnic students because they have been taught much practical than theories meant to carry out most of the practical works

Hamza Ibrahim, Coordinator, Curbing Hate and Dangerous Speech Project, CITAD, made the vote of thank on behalf of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD). He thanked the speakers and the participants for honoring the invitation and said that CITAD believed that the contribution provided by the speakers brought the success of the event. He then appalled to the participants to have the same co-operation and participation in the future endeavors.