The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on economic managers to reposition the educational sector in the country to meet workforce needs by bridging the town and gown.

The chamber hinted that the primary goal was to ensure that human capital development in the country enjoys its deserved priority in the quest to unleash the potential of the nation through increased efficiency and productivity for sustainable economic growth and development.

This, it said, would champion initiatives to promote private enterprise, policy advocacy and investment to foster the development of the economy.

Speaking at the press conference on the maiden edition of the Lagos Educational Fair with the theme ‘Transforming Education: Enhancing access to qualitative tertiary education, the Chairman Trade Promotion Board, LCCI, Leye Kupoluyi, urged the federal and state government to ensure sufficient funding of the educational sector with strict adherence to standards in the institutions at all levels while adding that this would sustain dialogue with stakeholders to be able to meet workforce needs and enhance national productivity.

Kupoluyi noted that the chamber would use the resolutions of the education fair to champion concerns for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), many of whom have continued to lament that workplaces are filled with many employees who lack the requisite capacity for desired efficiency and growth.

“There’s no doubt that the future and sustainability of our SMEs and even the public service depends largely on the quality of the graduates churned out from our tertiary institutions,” he added.

Kupoluyi stressed the need for accessibility in quality education and adequate funding of the institutional sectors, which he said, are critical to sustainable economic development.

“We canvass a quick resolution of the current, regular rift between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities. The frequency of strikes by the union is causing unquantifiable losses, not only to the nation’s education sector but also to the nation as a whole.”

“We wish to reiterate that public-private partnership remains the best option for tackling national issues, including the prevailing challenges of the nation’s education sector”, he added.

He admitted that the fair will help to proffer not just solutions to the challenges currently facing the educational sector but also specified resolutions that would fast track the implementation of the proffered solutions.

Prominent guests scheduled to be at the event include the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, Minister for Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, Former Chairperson, First Bank PLC, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, the Vice-chancellor of Lagos State University and Anchor University-professor Mrs. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello and Professor Sam Oye Bandele respectively and many distinguished experts from the private sector.