By Gbenga Gbelee
The Pro-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) has
identified shortage of basic soft skills among products of Nigerian tertiary
institutions as a major cause of the rising unemployment.
To this end, Dr. Babalakin is advocating synergy and collaboration between
Universities and corporate organisations across the world for the purpose of
exposure, grooming and training for students with a view to preparing them for
contemporary challenges in the corporate employment market.
The Pro-chancellor made this known while playing host to a delegation from the
Bank of America Merrill Lynch led to the University of Lagos by the President,
Europe, Middle East and Africa; Mr. Bernie Mensah.
Dr. Babalakin noted that the University of Lagos has a record of consistently
seizing every opportunity to accord its teeming students exposure locally and
internationally, He however bemoaned the downward trend of education in
Nigeria, one which he said has sabotaged the University’s efforts to some
While assuring the delegation from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch of
UNILAG’s openness to partnerships, Dr. Babalakin noted that the inculcation of
soft skills which include effective communication, self correction, critical
thinking and time management into Nigerian University students would not
only reposition education in Nigeria but also help graduates hone their skills,
make them more marketable and employable.
In his reaction, the leader of the visiting delegation from the Bank of America
Merrill Lynch; Mr. Bernie Mensah said their visit to Nigeria and other West
African countries is to invest in the people especially students.
Mr. Mensah said their coming to the University of Lagos was part of ongoing
interactions with students across West Africa among whom the Bank is hoping
to recruit not less than 30 for internship in Europe.
The Managing Director of the Bank; Debra Coleman said since the programme
started in 2011, no fewer than 131 students have been recruited from Nigeria
and Ghana out of which 57 have earned permanent placements in the Bank of
America Merrill Lynch.
Others on the Bank of America Merrill Lynch delegation lauded the pedigree,
decorum and diligence of the entire members of staff of the University of
They said the renovation of the AFE BABALOLA BUILDING on the
University campus which was done local is an evidence of the bank’s readiness
to deepen its relationship with the UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS.
In his reaction, the Vice chancellor, University of Lagos; Professor Oluwatoyin
Ogundipe who received the delegation at the University’s council chambers
reaffirmed his administration’s objective of innovation, incubation and
Prof. Ogundipe who was with the team when it met with selected students
reeled out some international competitions where students of UNILAG have
participated and emerged in flying colours.
He said plans are in top gear to roll out a community impact programme for
female secondary students.
The delegation from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch took time to address
students at the Afe Babalola hall while a special interaction also held with
selected final year students with the aim of familiarising them with the bank’s
programme and their roles as prospective beneficiaries.
Also hosted alongside the team from Bank of America Merrill Lynch were
officers from the Covenant University, Lagos State University, Obafemi
Awolowo University and the University of Ibadan where students are also
expected to benefit from the internship programme of the Bank of America