NASENI Unfolds Plans to Reverse Reliance on Foreign Artisans
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive (EVC/CE) of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna, yesterday unfolded plans to end the nation’s reliance on foreign artisans.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has given an order to the agency to equip Nigerian youths to reverse the trend of importing artisans.
He said the target given to NASENI covers modern massive skill acquisition trainings for artisans to be able to cope with global challenges.
Haruna made the disclosures during the flag-off of training and youth empowerment for youths in Ibadan, Oyo State.
He said the training was aimed at reversing over reliance on artisans from neighbouring countries.
He said: “Artisans from neighbouring African countries today are taking over the few occupational jobs available in the built environment and in construction industry. The President has empowered NASENI to lead the nation to a manufacturing economy and undoubtedly this type of skill development is key pre-requisite, that is – competent workforce.”
“It is the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari that NASENI must work hard to build critical mass of Nigeria to reverse the trend and provide competitive know-how to Nigerians to meet local demand and export labour abroad.
“The skill development in many specialized areas of need is ongoing and the trainees are expected to train others.
“The 100 participants in Oyo State were carefully selected through due diligence are all receiving their modern tools as start-ups.
“They have automatic membership of a platform of NASENI for continuous knowledge and experience sharing in the dynamic area of their chosen occupation.”
He said the re-tooling scheming for youths has been yielding dividends for the country.
“I know of two foreign embassies associated with NASENI that used to bring technicians from their home countries to repair their water closets sanitary and sewage system due to poor workmanship and incompetence of Nigerian artisans in modern and automated systems.
“They no longer require expatriates with NASENI’s intervention. It is painful that several building leakages are due to poor plumbing work resulting in unsightly walls and weak structure,” he added.
Haruna said the training on modern methods of plumbing and its application was to ensure that the needed capacity building in areas that appear lacking in a particular state of the federation will be attended to.
He said acquiring practical technical skills in a fast changing world order was designed to guarantee gainful employment and income for sustainable livelihoods.
He added: “The training launched today in Ibadan for the South-west is in the first phase of regional skill development of NASENI in the implementation series of President Buhari’s directive to NASENI to ensure development of skills of our teeming youths necessary for job creation and self-employment generation.
“The subsequent phases of this training will ensure that the needed capacity building in areas that appear lacking in a particular state of the federation will be attended to.
“Advancements in manufacturing technologies is introducing new tools, new products especially plumbing materials and wares developed from composite material.
“The convenience of combination of fluid and pneumatic systems, reticulations, and waste treatment requires knowledgeable technicians, craftsmen, and engineers to be trained and retrained to update their knowledge on modern trends and techniques.
“The training will therefore not only prepare the youth for gainful employment but also update the competencies of existing technicians, artisans, and even engineers.
“The world of work is changing and will continue to change. To be relevant, artisans, technicians and engineers need to develop competencies in many areas for job mobility and employability.
The EVC said his hands on training and certification in technical aspects of engineering gave him accelerated promotion and edge above his equals in his career choice.
He said: “I was privileged to be trained in craft and technical schools and multidisciplinary hands-on was compulsory practice which gave me several advantages later in my engineering and academic practices.
“I qualified as a welder, mason, carpenter, plumber, fitter, electrician and mechanic. My first trade test grade one were in welding and fabrication and electrical installation.
“My City and Guilds was in Heavy Duty Engine which is industrial mechanical engineering but obtained higher qualifications in Electrical Power Engineering at PhD level. Giving others hands-on training has been my fashion.
“My multi-tasking exposure has given me accelerated promotion and leadership in NASCO Group of Company, in New Nigeria Printing and Packaging and at Ikara Food Processing and perhaps later in life when I joined the services of NASENI.”