SPEECH BY HON. PETER KENNETH, MGH, MP, ASSISTANT MINISTER, MINISTRY OF STATE FOR PLANNING, NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND VISION 2030, MGH, MP FOR GATANGA, DELIVERED ON HIS BEHALF BY MR. STEPHEN WAINAINA, MBS, ECONOMIC PLANNING SECRETARY, DURING THE OCCASION OF THE 6TH GRADUATION CEREMONY OF NAIROBI INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS STUDIES HELD AT NIBS THIKA ROAD CAMPUS ON SATURDAY 3RD MARCH, 2012.
NIBs Management Team
Members of staff
Parents and Sponsors
Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me from the onset state that I feel greatly delighted to join you all in celebrating the 6th graduation ceremony of Nairobi Institute of Business Studies. Graduations are special moments when all students look forward to after hard work and the promise that comes with successful completion of any formal course. Once the studying is over and the certificate at hand, one feels free to do what appertains to the course of choice.
My invitation to the graduation for the second time in two consecutive years is indeed a great honour, which I graciously accepted after attending a similar and equally colourful ceremony last year. As such, I am happy to join you today.
Allow me to start by appreciating our graduands for their efforts, hard work and the commitment they have invested during their stay in this institution. Congratulations are indeed in order! You now form a strong and critical pool of resource base that is needed to steer this country to attain the Kenya Vision 2030 development agenda. The emerging opportunities under the Vision are calling for the kind of technical and hands-on skills that you have acquired in this institution.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The introduction of free primary education and free tuition in secondary schools has come with a great demand for courses available in the next-level institutions, or what we refer to as tertiary institutions, to meet further education needs of growing number of secondary school graduates. Indeed thousands of students graduating from secondary schools seek higher education locally, but the available resources are not enough to accommodate them. This demand has created opportunities for growth of tertiary and higher learning institutions to bridge this gap. I am happy to note that the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies is one of the institutions that have boldly taken this challenge head on and thereby ensured that the two thirds of students who miss chances in the public universities still have a chance to achieve their goals.
I am also pleased to note that in the recent years, NIBS has experienced rapid growth in infrastructure, variety of courses offered and student population. Today, NIBS has a student population numbering over 3,000 students, and a workforce of about 200 staff. Further, the drive towards expansion of learning facilities is on the highest momentum. Just last year, I was privileged to join you in dedicating the ultra-modern Ruiru Campus which included state-of-the-art computer and science laboratories and a modern library. Again, the opening of the fourth campus in Ongata Rongai town this year will surely place NIBS way above its peers. Additionally, I believe the completion of the Thika Superhighway will provide even more opportunities for NIBS to benefit from.
In terms of quality, the Institute is accredited to reputable examining bodies locally and internationally as well as affiliated to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) to offer Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, other Diplomas and Certificates programmes. I have also learned that two of the courses at the institute, Diploma in Business Administration and Diploma in Information Technology, have been validated by the Commission for Higher Education. This is indeed a welcome development.
I also appreciate that NIBS has also not shied away from dreaming big. Future plans include the establishment of a medical school. Indeed, with construction of the school, NIBS shall be responding to the projected demand for medical practitioners. As we are aware, one of the key projects under the Vision 2030 is to position Kenya as a premier medical destination of choice in the region. I, therefore, applaud the brains behind the medical school and look forward to be present during its launching ceremony.
I am also happy to hear that NIBS is working towards establishment of a Chartered University of their own known as NIBS University. I wish them the best in this endeavour and once again look forward to celebrating with you when you achieve this major milestone.
Let me, with great respect, congratulate Madam Lizzie and the NIBS fraternity for having worked tirelessly towards attaining high standards of service provision. In order to retain your status, I urge you to continue to be guided by strong values, and to remain focused. These values include: teamwork, commitment, discipline and professionalism at all levels.
To the Graduands
I urge you to be, continuously, on the look-out for emerging opportunities in your area of expertise. Appraise yourselves with the Vision 2030 blueprint so that you can be relevant and in-step with the rest of the country. On Wednesday, our Ministry launched the Vision 2030 online course which can be accessed free of charge at www.vision2030online.go.ke. This is a vital resource which every Kenyan must utilise.
The adoption of county governments next year will create employment opportunities at the local levels. The Government is already establishing, under the Vision 2030, at least one Youth Empowerment Centre in each constituency. The centres are intended to provide information and services to the youth that responds to their unique needs. The services will include a diversity of activities ranging from entrepreneurship training, information provision, ICT, counseling, games, community mobilization and sensitization and networking. Your leadership in some of these initiatives will be vital.
I have noted that most of you graduating today are youths. This makes you the primary stakeholders and beneficiaries of the Vision 2030. You should therefore strive to change our nation by striving to be better than those who were before us. You should endeavour to become honest, hardworking and visionary youth. The Certificate you will acquire today should, at the least, give you the confidence to take charge and play your due role in creating the Kenya you want. Be part of the solution and not the problem. The future of the nation rests on you.
In the world of work, life will present an entirely new set of challenges and opportunities. Remember that hard work is the only road to success. However, given that role of Government in providing jobs is shrinking and role of the private sector and enterprise is taking prominence is rising, you may be required to switch your minds from the “get a job” thinking to venturing into entrepreneurship. In addition, the opening of the East African and COMESA regions, you must be ready expand your horizons and reach out for employment opportunities beyond our borders. The thousands of Kenyans already working in the Eastern Africa Region demonstrate that our young people can compete for job opportunities in the region and elsewhere in the world.
I also urge you to pursue continuous learning, as this will be the only way to keep you above the perimeter. You shouldn’t only measure yourself from within this institution but learn to standardize yourself internationally. Where applicable, take advantage of the HELB loans to further your education and attain the highest levels of competence in your speciality. You must not be complacent.
My encouragement to you is to go into the society with a commitment to implement that which has been modelled in you by NIBS. I urge you to maintain linkages with NIBS by forming a strong Alumni Association that will keep you closer to one another. I am sure that in this era of advanced Information Communication Technology is quite possible.
Allow me now, ladies and gentlemen, to appreciate efforts by various stakeholders who have taken part in the collective process of bringing the graduands to this level and making this occasion possible. The Management of NIBS, the parents and guardians for guiding and supporting their academic endeavours. The lecturers and staff who have spent time imparting valuable knowledge and skills. I thank you all for choosing to invest your time, resources and energy in their education and for having faith in them and in the institution in general.
As the election time approaches, I urge you to shun politics that aims to divide us. We should know that Kenya is greater than either one of us. Jointly, we have the capacity, and the resources to overcome any challenge. It is our duty to leave this world better than we found it. Let us vote wisely and peacefully.
Finally, as you step out of NIBS, I believe you all have varied expectations. Some of you will embark on looking for jobs; others who are already in employment have enhanced their knowledge, skills and career growth, others will start their own enterprises, while others will be pursuing further studies. Whichever path you choose to chart, I believe the skills you have acquired in NIBS will put you on a better pedestal to make your dreams come true. I wish you all the best.
Congratulations once again and thank you for allowing me to share this day with you.
May God Bless You