The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Professor Olusola Bandele Oyewole has advocated for an increase in entrepreneurial skill development, as a prerequisite for economic growth and advancement.

Professor Oyewole made the recommendation at the opening ceremony of the Training Workshop on Pig Production for Secondary School Students in Ogun State, organized by the Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC).

Professor Oyewole disclosed that a recent newspaper report quoted the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, on Pig Production business in Lagos State, that about $2 billion (over N300 billion) can be realized by the State through Pig Production.

The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Director AMREC, Professor (Mrs.) Carolyn Afolami, stressed that the importance of vocational education in the life of any nation cannot be under-estimated, as it helps individuals to overcome poverty, by providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to increase their income and wealth.

He stated that the Federal Government, in its attempt to curb the alarming rate of unemployment in the country had refocused the nation’s educational system, to take care of modern day realities.

Professor Oyewole disclosed that in an effort to complement the Federal Government’s initiative, the University had established a Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS), to develop entrepreneurial skills among students and non-students alike, through scheduled short-time and vocational courses, with the ultimate aim of making them self-employed.

He called on the students to make the best use of all the details that will be made available to them during the workshop, adding that, “this will definitely be the commencement of your journey to greatness and eventually, make you employers of labour”.

Earlier, in her welcome address, the Director of AMREC, who was represented by Dr. (Mrs.) Grace Sokoya, said AMREC, through its Extension and Adaptive Research Programme was poised to impact through training and practical skills, required knowledge that are relevant to agricultural activities as well as developing positive attitude towards manual labour, and encouragement of self-reliance.

Speaking on Pig production, as the choice for the capacity building training, Professor Afolami said, “Meat generally constitutes about 70 per cent of the sources of protein in Nigeria.

However, most Nigerians are not able to meet up with the required quantity of protein needed in their diet from meat because of the exorbitant price of meat, especially; beef, chicken, mutton and others”.

The Director of AMREC said Pig production is an aspect of livestock enterprise that is highly profitable, when properly managed, as it required minimum investment capital, but with a capability for multiple turnovers, within a short period.

Professor Afolami charged the students to consider the training as an opportunity to be self-employed and contribute to protein availability in the Nigerian diet.