The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, has said that the institution’s skills acquisition centres are innovative and catalyst for human capacity building.

Obi stated this at University’s Council Chambers when she received members of the mission team of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) who paid her a courtesy call in Calabar.

While welcoming the team from the bank, she said the skill acquisition centres in the university were geared towards making the students realize their potentials early in life.

According to her, the emphasis was on “making our graduates learn the gains in innovation and creativity”.

He added that the Institution’s Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) has been functioning but needed to be scaled up for effective utilisation.

Obi said that the university, through the EDC, has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria, South South Zone of EDC and other private partnerships to help build capacity of its students.

The VC, who noted that the university has the desire to do more in repositioning the innovation centres, bemoaned lack of funds which has restrained the institution from reaching its desired goal.

Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the mission team, Dr Osubor Gregory, who is the Social Sector Specialist to ADB, said their visit was to partner and strengthen innovation centres in the Institution.

“Our visit seeks to know the readiness of UNICAL in terms of innovation and creativity, the availability of innovation equipment, the staffing of the centres and how the centres are being managed, its proximity to ICT stakeholders as well as the university access to youths and their willingness to learn,” he said.

He maintained that though certain criteria were listed, the University of Calabar was among the institutions selected to benefit from the mission team.

Gregory said that the team would also visit some of the innovative centres in the institution to ascertain their commitment to the course.

While advocating for the inclusiveness of youths outside the institution, he stressed that their area of interest was in human components, skills for production and entrepreneurship.

He said that when these are fully harnessed, they would be of great benefit to the youths, the university and the country at large. (NAN)