Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Saturday challenged graduates of tertiary institutions in the country to pursue entrepreneurship rather than expect to find non existing white collar jobs.
The Governor gave the charge at the 2nd Combined Convocation of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi Uku.
He noted that though the society and education prepared people for white or blue collar jobs, population explosion, digital economy and an opportune society driven by change had made it practically difficult to find the jobs, stressing that entrepreneurship was the key to unlocking the doors of prosperity and personal fulfillment.
Governor Okowa said the reality of present day turbulent economy had made it difficult for even the best graduates to find jobs for relatively long periods of time, pointing out that the only viable option was job creation through entrepreneurship.
He said his administration had made entrepreneurship training the pivot of its educational policy and job creation programmes, explaining that in the jet age characterised by dazzling speed and rapid change, graduates who excelled were those who chose to think outside the box, learned new things and acquired new skills.
The Governor maintained that graduation was not the end of learning, but only meant that the graduate could take responsibility for his or her own learning, adding that they should invest time, energy and resources to acquire skills that would put them on the path of profitable entrepreneurship.
Okowa charged the graduands to avail themselves of the wealth of online education available free of charge, stating that in an economy on a growth curve, there were numerous opportunities for new ideas and businesses.
He advised them to pay attention to the needs of the society and find creative means to address them, adding that money could only be made by those who solved problems for others.
The Governor congratulated the graduands and management of the institution, and recalled that on assumption of office in 2015, he announced that he would only attend the convocation of any university or polytechnic if the certificates and transcripts of the graduating students were ready for collection.
He expressed pleasure that the certificates and transcripts of graduating students from the 2013/2014 through to the 2018/2019 academic sessions were ready and announced a grant of N50 million for the development of the Entrepreneurship Unit of the polytechnic.
Okowa also announced the appointment of one Francis Osedume as a Special Assistant to him, for the leadership role he played as a student leader in the institution.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution, Dr Festus Okubor, listed the achievements of the polytechnic and thanked the Governor for his administration’s support for the growth of education in the state.
For her part, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Professor Stella Chiemeke, said 9, 359 Ordinary National Diplomas and 11, 574 Higher National Diplomas were conferred on graduands.
She added that 241 distinctions were recorded in the results, comprising of 96 in OND and 145 in HND.