By George Odok
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi has urged youths to fight unemployment with entrepreneurial and vocational skills.
Prof. Obi gave the charge on Friday in Calabar when the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Cross River Chapter Executive, led by its Chairman, Comrade Daniel Obo paid her a courtesy call in Calabar.
The VC said her administration would strengthen the Entrepreneurial and Vocational Centres in the University in order to provide the needed training for the youths.
According to her, Nigeria has been faced with unemployment challenge, hence the need to equip the youth with skills that can get them jobs beyond their paper qualifications.
“When these centres are up and running, we are going to train a good number of youths from the institution’s host communities and also give them a token to start their businesses.
“At all times, we must focus our energy on building the youths because they are a strong force. I have so much respect for the young ones because no one can ever predict what they will become tomorrow,” she said.
She decried the destruction of properties in the University by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSars protest in Calabar on Oct. 24, 2020, adding that the destruction had compromised the growth in the institution.
The VC told the NYCN delegation that she is working on a programme with a view to have a session with young girls in order to mentor and build their capacity.
She granted approval to the request made by Chairman of the Council, that youth should be considered for employment and for her to also pick one of them as her Special Assistant on Youth Affairs.
Speaking earlier, Obo said that the visit was to congratulate the VC on her appointment as the first female VC of the institution, 45 years after its creation.
Obo commended the VC for the appointments she has made so far, adding that she has been very balanced in selecting her management team.
He described the VC as a mother and a disciplinarian who has mentored her students to greatness in the past 30 years of her service in the institution.
“The news of your emergence as the first female VC of Unical was widely celebrated because you merited the position; as a mother, we are so proud of you.
“You have become a role model to the younger generation. I want to assure you that the 2.8 million youths in Cross River are solidly behind you,” he said.