The House of Representatives has urged Federal Government agencies to consider first class graduates for automatic employment.

Rep. Chinedu Emeka Martins had moved the motion during the plenary on Wednesday which was passed as a resolution.

This is as some members suggested that a bill should be sponsored to give the appropriate legal framework to the idea by defining specific relevant fields where first class graduates could be encouraged and appreciated.

The session was presided over by the Speaker Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, who relentlessly pushed for the motion to be passed.

The motion is reproduced below:

The House notes that at the end of every academic year, Nigerian Universities both Government and Private owned produce hundreds of First-Class graduates, where a huge percentage find it difficult to secure jobs or establish a place to give back to the society or make commensurate input to nation-building.

Also notes that graduating in First-Class in any Institution of learning is an indication of a ” Grade A – brain”, as the journey to such feat is not only characterized by the smartness or intellect of the graduating student but riddled with challenges such as superlative effort, resilient hard work, determination, and irrepressible stress, with a strong will that showcases the inability to accept failure in all circumstances.

Regrets the growing rate at which employable First-Class graduates of Universities in the Country are going jobless or leaving the country in droves, after their National Youth Service, while the lower grades whose relations are connected, get the option of first refusal irrespective of the growing national concern to get the nation’s best brains aboard.

Aware that the lack of job opportunities for First-class graduates is not just a result of non preparedness of graduates, since some lucky ones do get privileges for postgraduate scholarship awards; skip Master’s Degree to Ph.d, or get instant job opportunities, as some Universities are magnanimous to award their first-class graduands with automatic employment to become assistant lecturers, student lecturers and so on, in their specific fields of learning.

Cognisant of the Presidential Scholarship Award, and Nigerian Federal Government First-class Scholarship award, that are aimed at reducing the financial burden on students by assisting the scholar in the payment of institution charges, fees, and personal maintenance in fields such as Medicine and Surgery, Education, Environmental Science, Entrepreneurial Studies, and Agriculture; Also aware that as recently as a year ago, 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; while it is undeniable that there are some firms in the country with define quality and excellent policies that consider applicants with First-class honours before other categories of graduates, which is in line with global best practice.

Concerned that same job opportunities are not obtainable for First-class graduates in the Ministries Department and Agencies and parastatals, who are by their position as government agencies, saddled with the responsibilities of driving the country’s economic and Infrastructural development.

Also concerned that 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 in a way that the best brains will automatically occupy important positions according to their area of competence.

Further concerned that according to research, Nigeria has continued to unwittingly give away her best brains and intellectuals to other countries who by their robust policies on a value system, reward diligence and excellence, as evidenced in the way and manner that Nigeria has continued to export her highly-rated professionals such as Medical Doctors and Nurses, who were unable to get jobs within the Country after graduation.

Further notes a recent report by higher education data experts, (QS) that the single biggest factor that students consider in Countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Australia, China, Canada, when choosing a University, is their chance of landing a good job the Country offers when they complete their course; Believes that First-class graduates are mostly needed in all fields of human endeavour, especially in Nigeria, where they can contribute in their areas of competence such as economic planning, manufacturing; small and medium scale enterprise, engineering and Infrastructure, etc.

Also believes that such automatic offer of a job for first-class graduates, will not only be a source of motivation for students in all fields to work harder, but maximise their potential in preparation for different economic roles, future leadership positions and ultimately reduce unemployment while helping to achieve development targets.

Worried that irrespective of her ability to produce First-class brains at the end of every academic year, Nigeria may not only continue to unwittingly export her best brains to more purposeful Countries, but witness a high rate of unemployment, and stagnate in her status of a “developing nation” if nothing is done urgently to establish a reward system for diligence and excellence.

It was passed in a majority voice vote.