Work Hard and Smart, Ojebode Advises Graduates

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Ayobami Ojebode
Professor Ayobami Ojebode, HOD Department of Communication and Language Arts, UI and Guest Lecturer at the 34th Convocation Lecture of The Polytechnic Ibadan

Professor Ayobami Ojebode has advised graduates to work hard and smart for the betterment of their lives and the development of the country rather than migrating.

Ojebode who is the current Head of Department Communication and Language Arts, Department, University of Ibadan gave this advise during his speech as the guest lecturer at the 34th Convocation Lecture of The Polytechnic Ibadan. The lecture was titled “The Dream, Challenges, and Reality of Contemporary Nigeria for Fresh Graduate”and was held on the 12th of December, 2019 at the School Assembly Hall, North Campus.

In his lecture, he gave statistics from reliable sources to establish the level of unemployment in the country and the estimated number of graduates who are not in any means employed.

He said, this kills the dream of many of the graduates and most times they settle for leaving the country.
“Rather than seeking to migrate by all means, the graduates in the contemporary reality of Nigeria should work hard and work smart”, Ojebode said.

He also advised graduates to keep learning and keep developing in human capital. He charged the graduates to think out of the box and learn new skills and rather than being seekers of jobs, they should be creative and be entrepreneurial inclined.

He said, “s/he must keep on developing the human capital. What is the latest software on your discipline? Acquire it; learn it. Who is that expert nearby in your field? Talk to her or him to apprentice with him without pay. Rather than mope; learn to grow.”

In addition, Ojebode stated that we can only have a true labour market when graduates get prepared for the challenges and develop themselves for the reality of the market.
“When graduates fully prepare and develop themselves, the labour market would become a true market. A true market is a place where people of equal status meet: one has the money and needs the goods, the other has the goods and needs the money,” Ojebode said.

Ojebode also explained that ” the labour market today is a place of unequal parties; the intending employer is the king while the job-seeking graduate is like a beggar.”

Meanwhile, he went on to state the consequence of an unequal and an untrue labour market on the graduates. He states “this is why graduates are hired by banks and insurance companies, and given impossible targets to meet or quit…. We should work towards a labour market that empowers the job-seeker to negotiate and make choices- that is what a true market is. And that is what our national labour dream should be- not just about fighting for minimum wage.”

The Rector, The Polytechnic Ibadan, Professor Kazeem Adebiyi was in attendance at the lecture and thanked the guest lecturer for the lecture. Other members of the management team of The Polytechnic Ibadan were also in attendance and the graduates of the school.