Universities have a key role to play in contributing to the development of Nigeria’s startup eco-system. However, in the country presently only the University of Nigeria has a startup incubator. This is not good for a country that has 153 universities.
The consequence of the non-existence of incubators in the universities has resulted in the mass production of job-seeking graduates rather than job-creating graduates.
This is a part reason why there are so many unemployed graduates searching for employment.
To give credence to this, the National Bureau of Statistics says the country’s unemployment rate rose from 13.3% in the 2nd quarter to 13.9 per cent in the 3rd quarter of 2016. And every year, tertiary institutions produces up to 500,000 graduates.
Now there is another incubator in a Nigerian University. It is called Hebron Startup Labs by Covenant University, one of the leading Universities in Nigeria.
Stephen Oluwatobi, the Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development Studies, Covenant University said this is very good for the University and they are looking at whether to allow the public access to the. His words: “The original intention was to see what we can do with our students. But since photos of the hub surfaced online a lot of persons have been asking how the external community can enroll. what we are looking out is someone who is passionate about what they are doing, has a solid team and a solution that addresses key problems in the society.”
This is a welcome development and it is expected that the launch of Hebron Startup Labs will encourage other universities in Nigeria to establish their own incubation hub.