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Courtesy of: The Guardian Newspaper

TO tackle the dearth of local artisans in the building and construction industry, a construction management consultancy firm and builders have kick-started a scheme known as Construction skills Training and Empowerment Programme  (C-STEmp), which will train, access and certify 200,000 artisans in 2016.

The C-STEmp scheme is an initiative of J.Hausen Limited, with Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) in collaboration with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) and sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID). Also backed by the UKAid through the construction idea fund of the Growth and Employment in States (GEMs) project.

Speaking at the inauguration of the programme in Abuja, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, reiterated the Federal Government’s promise to act promptly to address shortage of skilled Nigerian artisans.

Fashola recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari recently decried the influx of foreign building trade workers in the country.

He said the training would be of benefit to the ministry since it already has vocational training centres for artisans and craftsmen in Yaba and Onikan in Lagos state and Ikeduru in Imo state.

He commended the skills empowerment project and urged that the training should be focused to achieve its intended purpose in order to supply skilled manpower in housing and construction industry.

NIOB President, Mr. Tijjani Shuaib, said the project aimed at developing a pool of well-trained and qualified manpower for the housing and construction industry would also train up to two million people in the next five years.

According to him, the project would reduce unemployment, poverty, and block the influx of foreign construction workers into Nigeria as pledged by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He recalled that the President had pledged that the present administration would move quickly to address the shortage of skilled construction workers in the country. “NIOB is ready to commence training, assessment and certification of the building craftsmen and artisans in collaboration with CORBON and the DFID under the C-STEMP programme.

“We have developed and validated a national occupational standards for the key building construction trades, masonry, carpentry, plumbing, electrical installation, painting and decoration among others.

He said a good number of assessors and verifies were also being trained with the assistance of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), adding that the skill gap in the Nigerian construction sector and poor quality project delivery has become a great concern for NIOB and CORBON.

The Project Director of C-Stemp, Mr. Anthony Okwa called on the Federal, State and local governments in Nigeria to partner with C- Stemp in training artisans and creating employment for the youths in the country.

The Managing Director of Fesadeb Communications Limited and President, Abuja Housing Annual Show, Mr. Festus Adebayo, called for a strong partnership with the media to ensure housing development.

Adebayo, a housing expert said that the project was a new dawn for artisans in Nigeria adding that it would absorb many unemployed Nigerians.

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