The Ilorin Area Manager of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Mr. Ajibola Ladokun, has described students of the University of Ilorin as “truly better by far” because they have distinguished themselves as youths who have the right character and attitude to learning and skill acquisition.
Mr. Ladokun made this observation last Tuesday (May 17, 2016), while speaking at the Students Industrial Works Experience Scheme (SIWES) orientation programme for the University of Ilorin students.
Pointing out that the ITF has never had any issue with students of the University, the Area Manager disclosed that having travelled round the country, during which he interacted with several students undergoing their industrial work experience, he could conclude that Unilorin students do not only pass through the University, the institution also passes through them.
Mr. Ladokun disclosed that the Federal Government, which funds the ITF, now pays allowances to the students directly in order that the students may gain employable skills for which the ITF designed SIWES.
The Manager said, “If we sincerely want to grow the economy, we must grow the people. The only way to make this work is for all the stakeholders to faithfully come together for the sake of patriotism and make human capital development a realizable goal. The implication is this, skills acquisition must go beyond a theoretical knowledge that is imparted under classroom situation. It must take into cognizance all its practical aspects towards solving shortage of skills that is plaguing the country.”
He also noted that skills acquisition, industriousness, creativity, effective performance and productivity are important factors that can greatly propel the nation towards development and growth.
Mr. Ladokun advised the students to wisely key into this scheme with all the seriousness it deserves so that they can join the league of great leaders of tomorrow, adding that the emphasis of higher education today has shifted from generating suitable employees in higher institutions to training and graduating students who will become employers of labour.
In his own speech at the event, the Director of the SIWES, University of Ilorin, Prof. Kolade Joseph, described the scheme as a mandatory skill acquisition programme designed for students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria to bridge the gap between theory and practice of Engineering and Technology, Sciences, Agriculture, Medicine, Management and other professional education programmes.
Prof. Joseph, who was represented by the Secretary of the Unit, Mrs. J. Popoola, formally welcomed students of Architecture in the Faculty of Environmental Management and those of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, who have recently joined the ranks of students who are eligible to participate in the SIWES scheme.
Prof. Joseph appealed to the University management to increase the funding of the Unit.
In his goodwill message on the occasion, Prof. Oyedeji of the Department of Business Education congratulated the participating students for the rare opportunity, which, he noted, is not enjoyed by all students in the University.
Dr. (Mrs.) F. E. Williams of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, in her own goodwill message, urged the students to choose places which are relevant to their courses for industrial training and charged the students to aggressively pursue knowledge.