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Lagos NIOB confab  on dearth of skilled artisans


Prince Gbolahan Lawal

Prince Gbolahan Lawal

A gamut of housing and infrastructural developmental issues especially, the dearth of skilled artisans will be in focus at the 2016 Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) conference starting next week.
The two- day event tagged: Festac 2016 with the theme: Vocational Training: Bedrock for Nigerian Housing and Infrastructural Development”, will be chaired by the Lagos State Commissioner of Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, with the President of NIOB, Tijani Shuaib as the Special Guest of Honour, while the chapter’s Chairman, Mrs. Adenike Said will be the chief host and Anthony Okwa, as the lead speaker.
Discussants in the conference will include, Mr. Siraj Bokinni, Olaumni Gaspers, an engineer, Ladipo Lewis, an architect and Dr. Nkemdilim Iheanchor. They will discuss sub themes like; Skills gap in Construction practice, Innovative Construction Materials with Modern technology, Public-Private Partnership in skill acquisition in construction sector, structure and impact of vocational training institutions in other developing countries- lessons for Nigeria.
Briefing newsmen, chairman of Conference Planning Committee, Fadil Elegbede said the massive short fall in the acquisition of vocational skills in the housing industry by the nation’s teeming population made the theme germane and timely.
He stressed that the majority of the few who hitherto managed to acquire one skill or the other have now turned to okada or tricycle operators, while some have decided to join the notorious gangs of kidnappers, robbers, abductors and other vices.

Elegbede said the question of skills and skilled workmen in the building and construction industry in Nigeria has continued to attract attention of stakeholders in the building and construction industry with the dearth of skill so severe that skilled workers in neighbouring countries are largely patrionised to the disadvantage of indigenous workforce.

According to him, “the Chinese construction firms have adopted the system of bringing in their skilled artisans to take over the vacuum created by our youths in this regard.
“With the economic downturns in the country, vocational skilled artisans from neigbouring countries have started returning to their respective countries, since it is now more profitable for them to earn their local currency which is now getting stronger.
“Thus, this has again brought in an increased short fall in the number of technical manpower in the housing infrastructure and development.
 “The best time for our youths to think a right 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 inn the housing infrastructure and development”. He added.
He however extolled the Federal government for noticing the trend and the danger therein by introducing the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) as a comprehensive package for the training and certification for workmen with the NIOB ands Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria assigned the role of awarding body in the framework.

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