The House of Representatives yesterday resolved that the Federal Ministry of Education should liaise with relevant government agencies to ensure employment for first-class graduates of Nigerian tertiary institutions.
The House also mandated the Committees on Tertiary Education and Services, and Labour, Employment and Productivity to ensure compliance.
These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the Need to Grant Automatic Employment to First Class Graduates moved by Hon. Chinedu Emeka Martins.
The House noted that Nigerian universities produce hundreds of First-Class graduates annually at the end of every academic year, but a great percentage of them find it difficult to secure employment and contribute to nation-building.
The House was concerned about the growing rate at which employable First-Class graduates in Nigeria are unable to secure jobs thus, forcing them to leave the country and become assets to other countries that offer employment.
The House said it was aware that some Universities award their first-class graduates with automatic employment as assistant lecturers or student lecturers in their specific courses.
It said it was also aware that recently, the University of Lagos offered employment to no fewer than 100 graduates of the University who made First-Class in various fields of study in the University.
The House added that it is common knowledge that some firms in the country consider applicants with first-class honours before other categories of graduates, which is in line with global best practices.
The House said Nigeria’s inability to leave the status of a developing nation may not be unconnected with the insensitivity and lack of political will of the ruling class and policymakers to introduce a reward system that ensures that the best brains automatically occupy important positions according to their area of competence.
The House noted that reports have shown that in seeking admissions to Universities, students consider countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Australia, China, Canada as it increases their chances of being employed upon graduation.
It believed that automatic employment for first-class graduates will not only serve as a source of motivation for students to work harder but will also maximize their potential in preparation for different economic roles, future leadership positions and ultimately reduce unemployment while helping to achieve development targets.