In a momentous event marking the formal conclusion of students’ mandatory entrepreneurial training at Igbinedion University, culminating in the impressive exhibition of products, Nigeria’s premier and leading private University has again showcased the incredible diversity of talents that define its university community.

The Vice-Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO), Prof. Lawrence Ikechukwu Ezemonye has said the university’s role in promoting an entrepreneurial mindset among students and staff cannot be overemphasized.

Prof. Ezemonye made the statement in his opening remark at the 11th Students Product Exhibition of the Sir (Dr.) David Osunde Centre for Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition of Igbinedion University, Okada, on Tuesday, 30th January.

The Vice-Chancellor affirmed that ranging from groundbreaking technological innovations to aesthetically captivating designs, each exhibit is a testament to the hard work, ingenuity, and passion that the students have poured into their projects.

According to the vice–chancellor, “In the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, the ability to innovate and adapt is paramount.

“The products displayed here today not only demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired through academic pursuits but also reflect the tenacity and creative-thinking mindset that our students possess.”

“You are not just presenting projects; you are showcasing the embodiment of your ideas, the fruit of your relentless efforts, and the potential to shape the future.

“Your products exemplify the transformative power of education and the impact that your ideas can have on society. Indeed, your creativity is a beacon that illuminates the way forward,” he maintained.

The Vice-Chancellor also expressed the university’s role in promoting an entrepreneurial mindset among students and staff.

“The role of the university in fostering entrepreneurial culture amongst students and staff is critical to national development. To achieve this, Igbinedion University has adopted a multi-faceted approach.

“This involves Entrepreneurship pedagogy at 200 Level for all disciplines, Entrepreneurship mentorship, Enterprise incubation, Creation hubs, and encouraging start-ups while on campus.

“At 300 Level the students are exposed to practical training and hands-on in any of the 14 skill sets available, leading to the creation of physical products,” he added.

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Speaking on the university’s academic culture, Prof. Ezemonye said, “The academic culture in Igbinedion University is built around the knowledge of entrepreneur’s entrepreneurship, enterprise, entrepreneurial thinking, idea generation and opportunity business model.

“The world today needs fresh perspectives and boldness to conquer the future. To this reality, Igbinedion University, Okada has deemed it necessary to ensure that our students are digitally literate and technologically fluent.”

Professor Ezemonye further appreciated the Chancellor of IUO, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, Esama of Benin Kingdom, for his visionary leadership. He also praised the esteemed faculty members who have guided and inspired the students, as well as commended the students for their dedication to pushing boundaries, challenging norms, and thinking beyond the conventional, noting that he is confident that the knowledge and experiences gained at IUO have equipped them to navigate the challenges and opportunities that await them.
In his remark, the Special Guest of Honour, representing the Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, Hon. Patrick Iria Ikpefa Uanseru, Hon. Commissioner for Business, Trade and Cooperatives, Edo State, reiterated the importance of young people acquiring skills alongside their academic degrees.

Edo State Governor, Dr. Godwin Obaseki, highlighted the critical importance of developing Nigeria’s skills and entrepreneurial capacity, as well as promoting digital innovation, to fuel the country’s economic growth and prosperity in the 21st century.

The Governor noted that skill development, entrepreneurship, and digital innovation are key drivers of a thriving economy, and Nigeria must focus on these areas to remain competitive in a globalized world.

Hon. Uanseru praised Igbinedion University for its commitment to ensuring that students receive a well-rounded education that includes practical entrepreneurship training.

While doing justice to the assigned topic, titled, “Perspectives on Entrepreneurial Cognition: Creating the Innovation Mindset in a Digital Economy”, the Guest Speaker, Dr. Nneka Okekearu, Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, stated that investment in entrepreneurship and the digital economy is essential for stimulating creative thinking and driving economic growth.

According to her, “With the challenges and opportunities facing Nigeria’s youth, there’s the need for collaboration between universities, industry, and government to create an enabling environment for innovation.”

Earlier in her welcome address, the Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition, IUO, Dr. (Mrs.) Mary Josiah stated that the entrepreneurship complex has up to thirteen schools from which the students have come to showcase their products.

The list of the schools includes Animal Husbandry; Bakery and Confectionery; Block Moulding; Catering, Cakes and Event Coverage; Cosmetic, Soap and Toiletries; Desktop Publishing and Business Center; Fashion, Make-up and Bridal Accessories; Hair Care, Manicure and Pedicure; Igbinedion Hub; Music (Drums, Wind & Percussion ); Shoe Making & Leather Works; Tailoring/Fashion Design and Textile design and production.

Students from a variety of disciplines showcased their finished products at the event. The exhibition provided a glimpse into the students’ creative and technical abilities, as well as their entrepreneurship potential.

The products on display were a testament to the university’s commitment to preparing students for the future.