PRIVATE SECTOR, ACADEMIA DIALOGUE BY MUDA YUSUF, DG, LAGOS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY INTRODUCTION I welcome the opportunity of this presentation and interaction with the academic community. One of the major challenges of the Nigerian economy is the challenge of unemployment. Huge pressure on Training Budget for Private Sector Better communication between the Academia and Industry is part of the solution INTRODUCTION The mismatch between the graduates of our tertiary institutions and the industry is a major contributing factor to this problem. It is our desire that the supply of graduates should be guided by the demand. In other words, the production of our graduates should be demand driven. This approach will significantly impact on mitigating the unemployment situation in the country. SIZE OF NIGERIAN ECONOMY The size of the Nigerian economy is large. The biggest on the African continent with a GDP of over $510 billion This reflects the huge manpower demand. There is a correlation between the size of the economy and manpower requirements. STRUCTURE OF THE ECONOMY Sectoral Contribution to GDP – Q2, 2014 Sectors Finance & Insurance IT/ Communication Manufacturing Agriculture Entertainment Transport Mining Auto Professional Services Accommodation and food Health Services Public Administration Oil and gas Water Supply, Sewerage, Waste Management Contributio n to GDP (%) 3.22 11.8 10.16 20.89 0.21 1 0.3 0.09 3.44 5.3 0.75 2.92 0.15 SECTORAL GROWTH In sectoral terms, the economy and many of the sectors have been growing significantly . These sectors need to be serviced to sustain the momentum of growth. All these also indicate that the unemployment situation in the country may not be as bad if there is a better fit between the quality of graduates and the manpower gaps in the economy. SECTORAL GROWTH Sectors Finance & Insurance IT/ Communication Manufacturing Agriculture Entertainment Transport Mining Auto Professional Services Accommodation and food Health Services Public Administration Oil and gas Water Supply, Sewerage, Waste Management Sector Growth Rate (%) 7 7.95 14.01 3.68 13.46 3.32 34.7 23.56 6.56 23.86 6.86 1.17 21.06 PURPOSE OF EDUCATION There are three major dimensions to this. The first is intellectual development; that is the development of the mind, The second is personality development; which has to do with self confidence that education gives. The third is skills development; that is the capacity to physically solve problems, or fix things. SKILL CONTENT OF CURRICULUM Curriculums have varying degrees of skills and intellectual development content. Some disciplines with high skill content include medicine, nursing, architecture, catering, theatre arts, theatre arts etc. Many other academic disciplines do not have high skill content and this affects their capacity to quickly fit into the industry. The economy at this time needs a lot of skilled manpower to drive development in the various sectors. INTELLECTUAL CONTENT The intellectual content of the academic programme is also of high value especially with respect to courses in social science, humanities, Law and physical sciences. However, many of these will require additional professional qualification to make the holders more appealing to employers. Such areas of business they will fit into include managerial functions, marketing functions, accountancy, journalism, engineering, research, religious studies and spiritual leadership, history and archives, human resources, Public relations, advertising etc. WRITING SKILLS One of the major challenges faced by employers across oil sectors is the literary quality of graduate of tertiary institutions. In the workplace, communication is very important; there is the verbal and written communication. Many graduates cannot produce quality write ups. This often forces employers to spend a lot on training their employees on writing skills. DEMANDS FROM ECONOMICS GRADUATES For an economics graduate to bring value to the workplace, the quality of application of economic theory and principles to economic problems is very germane. Many graduates of economics do not possess these skills. There is too much concentration on abstract, quantitative analysis on economic theories, equations and graphs, most often to the detriment of their application to real life situations. VALUE OF EDUCATION Ultimately, the value of education lies in the capacity to solve real life problems to meet the demand of industry and households. Investors are looking for value when they engage any employee. The worth of an employee is measured by value that the employee brings to the business. CHARACTER QUALITY Many employees are concerned about the issues of character of staff. Many SMEs have lost huge sum of money to fraudulent staff therefore character is very key in terms of the value that employers expect from graduate of tertiary institutions. There are too many cases of fraudulent staff which puts organisations’ existence at risk. VALUE OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH Academic research should be demand driven in order to be of interest to the business community. It must be targeted at solving industry problems. This is the surest way to get research outcomes to be commercialised. FOCUS ON CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC ISSUES The business community expects graduates of economics in particular to be well informed about contemporary economic issues Annual budgets of the Federal and State governments, Monetary Policy Communiqué of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), World Bank Development Reports MANPOWER GAPS Currently there are significant manpower gaps in the following industries: Construction industry, Power Sector oil & gas, logistics and maritime, ICT, Telecoms Automobile CONTEMPORARY ISSUES Human Development Reports, Investment Climate Reports, Global Competitiveness Reports, Trade Policy issues and impact on the economy, tax policies, exchange rate policies, Global oil market issues, Country risk analysis and global risk analysis.