Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun have charged university graduates to dump their certificates and go back to farm, urging them to see agriculture as viable alternative to white collar job.
The governor said the call was necessary due to the menace of unemployment among Nigerian youths.
Aregbesola gave the charge while delivering a speech at the 6th Convocation Ceremony of Fountain University, Osogbo, adding that the present economic situation has shown Nigerians the need to encourage farming as the only alternative to crude oil.
He explained that there was no aspect of life that could do without agriculture, saying Nigerian graduates must henceforth stop searching for formal jobs that realistically remained elusive.
He called for productivity, resilience and hard-work among Nigerians, stressing that the present nation’s economy demands one to be self-employed.
Aregbesola noted that there is no other alternative to sustain Nigerian economy than to build and encourage requisite interest in agriculture and brace up with anything that could promote food security.
The governor maintained that all Nigerians, as a matter of urgency should invest in things that would enhance farming in the next five years if truly the nation was ready to overcome her present economic challenges.
Lamenting the glut in the global oil market, which has brought about dwindling revenues to all tiers of government, Aregbesola emphasised the need for massive participation in agriculture.
“There is need for us , especially our young graduand’s to lead the nation in promoting agriculture as the only realistic surviving alternative to economy.
“We must not but embrace farming because it is only agriculture that has direct links to all aspects of life
“Nigeria has grown to the stage through which her food production capacity must be urgently expanded to meet the general needs of the citizenry and as well enhance exportation.
“The time to enhance productivity has come. We must all embrace productivity. We must produce whatever we desire to consume”, he added.
Congratulating the graduating students, Aregbesola charged them to adapt to the virtues they acquired from the institution.
He called on them to get prepared for the challenges ahead and life after university which he described as “challenging.”
“You must all prepare the challenges ahead especially at this period of over saturated tendencies of labour market. You need grim determination to succeed. You must be rational and critical in the application of the knowledge you have acquired”.
Aregbesola appealed to those who are perpetrating violence and criminality in the name of Islam to have a rethink, using the precious and reputable saying, “violence is directly antithetical to Islam.”
Earlier in his lecture, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, who is the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission(NUC)and the Guest Speaker at the event charged both private and public organisations in the country on the need to invest more in education.
He said the country has gone to a stage where education should be seen by all as a bedrock for national development, hence calls for the need to encourage participation in both basic and higher education.
He implored stakeholders in the private and public institutions in the country to rescue the nation from her present education backwardness as a matter of urgency, by establishing more universities.
Meanwhile, in his remarks, the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abdullateef Usman called for better funding of university education.
He said the country can only develop if proper attention is given by all towards the provision of quality education.
Prof. Usman called on government to further invest in education, saying doing this would save the country and as well serve as panacea to economic growth and development.
“Our governments must do more in educating citizens who are expected to pilot the future affairs of the nation.
“If we really want to develop capacity in quality education and churning out graduates equipped with required virtues, thus no stone must be left unturned in ensuring better and adequate funding.
“The governments are expected to do the needful by earmarking better funds to support education both in terms of academic infrastructures and finances”.
Prof. Usman congratulated the 128 graduating students, advised them to multiply the virtues acquired in the university as they go into the new world of challenges.