The Chief Executive Officer of Nexford University (NXU), Lagos, Fadl Al Tarzi, at the weekend cautioned Nigerian graduates against travelling out of the country to seek greener pastures.
He added however that Africa has the potential to become the largest supplier of global workforce in nearest future.
Tarzi, who made this known at the Nexford University graduation ceremony in Lagos, expressed confidence in Nigerian students, hailing their resilience and commitment to research.
According to him, “Take control of your destinies and forge your paths with determination and creativity. Remember, ‘Japa’ is not the only path to success. In this era of remote work, jobs are transcending geographical boundaries, and Africa with its youthful population is also poised to be the cradle of tomorrow’s global workforce. There is an undeniable truth that Africa is where tomorrow’s workforce will come from.”
He described Nigerians in the United States as twice as educated as the average Americans, saying it is time for them to ascend to leadership positions, redefine perceptions, and engrave their marks on societies, whether here in Nigeria or beyond their borders.
He said: “If your journey takes you to foreign lands, remember that you are the architects of perceptions and the ambassadors of our values. Make those lands realise the privilege of hosting a Nigerian talent. Showcase your superior skills and let the world witness the value you add and the legacy you create.”
In her remarks, a former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, stated that academic institutions like Nexford would help Nigeria fix human capital deficiencies.
Ezekwesili, a board member of NXU, noted that the university is one of the global institutions that have visibly given the skills that are necessary for the 21st century.
“If we increase our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and we spread the sources, what we will have is inclusive prosperity. So we must have graduates of this kind from as many institutions as possible,” she said.
In his keynote address titled, ‘Unleashing Your Potential’, the co-Founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, Dr. Tonye Cole, urged the graduates to expect challenges as they move to the next phase of life.
He said: “Do not be afraid to fail, and even when you do, start again, try again and retrace your steps and be courageous for every success story has stories to tell.
“You have to decide on your own, but you must seek wisdom to guide your steps, this is key because it is what you need to navigate the world and keep your eyes on your goal.”
Also, Nexford Country Director, Oghogho Inneh, noted that the university’s standard e-learning platform and flexibility in learning stand it out among its peers.
The 2023 graduation ceremony witnessed master class sessions which were centred on building and scaling a startup, designing a fulfilling career, becoming globally relevant, selling skills for founders and succeeding in a remote job environment; a career fair with Nigeria’s leading companies, a start-up demo and an exhibition.
Also, five Nigerian students were honoured during the graduation ceremony. Among them was James Ogo-Oluwa Osinowo, who emerged as the Valedictorian of the Year for Class 2023.