The new Minister of Industry and Commerce, Cde Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu has challenged graduates to tap into economic opportunities in the infrastructural development cluster as the country continues on an economic revival path.

Speaking at a National University of Science Technology (NUST) alumni meeting in Bulawayo, Minister Ndlovu said the country is importing products which could be manufactured locally, resulting in a high import bill.

Cde Ndlovu urged graduates to be innovative and play their part in the country’s economic revival by exploiting opportunities in the major infrastructural development projects.

“We are importing a lot of products such as baby diapers which we can manufacture ourselves. We have a huge import bill hence as graduates, there is need to tap into these opportunities. I know some say cost of production is expensive maybe due to obsolete technology but that is why we have institutions like NUST, let us think in other terms,” he said.

During the meeting, NUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Mqhele Dlodlo highlighted that they are facing a serious shortage of highly skilled lecturers in the Faculty of Built Environment.

 “One of our challenges is that there is a shortage of lecturers in the Faculty of Built Environment particularly in the Department of Architecture. We need specialists in those trends. Sometimes you find someone holding an administrative post like a Dean doubling as a lecturer. NUST is severely understaffed,” he said.

Professor Dlodlo also revealed that the country’s second largest university had only one faculty which had its building completed out of seven faculties and called for private partnerships in completing infrastructure at the institution.