Builders to Focus on Vocational Training at FESTAC 2016

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Fadekemi Ajakaiye

Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Lagos State Chapter will discuss the imperative of Vocational Training in the nation’s socio-economic development, at this year’s Conference/AGM, tagged FESTAC 2016.

The Chairman, Conference/AGM Committee, Bldr. Fadil Elegbede stated this at a press briefing in Lagos, recently, adding that the theme, ‘Vocational Training: Bedrock for Nigerian Housing & Infrastructural Development’ has been divided into four sub-themes, which are to be handled in syndicate sessions, namely: Skills Gap in Construction Practice; Innovative Construction Materials with Modern Technology; Public Private Partnership in Skill Acquisition in Construction Sector; and The Structure and Impact of Vocational Institutions in other Developing Countries – Lessons for Nigeria.

The theme and sub-themes, he said were well-chosen and that articulate seasoned professionals would be in attendance to coordinate the syndicate sessions. “The Event comes up at Golden Tulip Hotel & Conference Centre, Amuwo, Mile 2, on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th of October, 2016.
“There is no doubt, the theme for this year is very germane and timely than ever considering the massive shortfall in the acquisition of vocational training in the housing industry by our teeming youth population. Even majority of the few who had hitherto managed to acquire one skill or the other have now turned to Okada or Maruwa operators. To worsen the situation, some have decided to join the notorious gangs of kidnappers, robbers, abductors and others.

“The question of skills and skilled workmen in the building and construction industry in Nigeria has continued to attract attention. The dearth of skills is so severe that skilled labourers from neighboring countries are largely patronized, to the disadvantage of indigenous workforce.
“It has been observed long time now that some of our own trained youths have abandoned their trades, and laboures from neighboring countries like Ghana, Togo and Republic of Benin have capitalized on this great opportunity by flourishing our Construction industry and taking advantage of the benefits therein. We should not forget also that the Chinese Construction industries in our Nation have also adopted the system of bringing in their labourers to take over the vacuum created by our youths in this regard.

“With the economic downturn that the Nation is experiencing now, our vocational skilled labourers from neighboring countries have started returning to their respective countries, since it is more profitable for them to earn their local currency which is now getting stronger than the Nigerian Naira. This has again brought in an increased shortfall in the number of technical manpower in the Housing infrastructure and Development. Thus, the best time for our youths to think aright and take this wonderful opportunity to acquire the needed vocational training that would earn them the required legitimate income they desire and thereafter drastically reduce unemployment in the housing infrastructure and Development.

“It is good to note that the Federal Government of Nigeria having noticed this trend and the danger therein introduced the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) as a comprehensive package for the training and Certification of workmen. The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) /Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) has been assigned the role of Awarding Body in the Framework.

“The theme for this year’s Conference/AGM is therefore apt, and it is being dealt with at the best time ever. The sub themes and their Coordinators are perfectly chosen for an on course delivery with various issues on skills in general as related to the National Vocational Qualification in particular.

“The Conference is going to be interactive and at the end, it is highly believed that all stakeholders concerned, would this time around better key into the process of making vocational training the bedrock for Nigerian Housing and Infrastructural Development.”