President Muhammadu Buhari has described the uncomplimentary assessment of Nigerian graduates by employers of labour as worrisome.

As a result, the president has called on universities in the country to ensure that their graduates are employable, saying it worries his administration that employers of labour describe Nigerian graduates as unemployable.

Buhari said this at the 31st Convocation of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, on Saturday, December 21, 2019.

Represented by Dr Suleiman Yusuf, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), the president said that his administration considered education as the cornerstone of national development.

He said, “In today’s globalised knowledge economy in which the wealth, strategic importance and ranking of any country in the comity of nations is determined largely by its knowledge economy index, my expectation is that our universities will use the instrumentality of their tripartite mandates of teaching, research and community engagement to launch Nigeria into an enviable position among nations of the world.

“In this regard, government expects Nigerian universities to produce graduates imbued with the requisite knowledge, competencies, attitudes, and skills to be active role players in our quest for socio-economic and technological development.

“I expect universities to pay serious attention to the less than complimentary assessment of the graduates of our universities by employers of labour. Definitely, we can not be comfortable when products of our citadels of learning are being described as ‘unemployable’, exhibiting lack of job-readiness and so on.”

According to Punch, Buhari noted that issues of graduate employability and skills are pertinent issues gaining traction nationally and internationally.