Project Director, Construction Skills Training and Empowerment Project, (C-STEmp), Anthony Aboki Okwa expressed this view at the 2016 Builders’ conference/Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Lagos State Chapter held, at Festac-Lagos Hotel and Conference Centre, Amuwo.
Speaking on the theme of the Conference: Festac 2016, ”Vocational Training: Bedrock for Nigerian Housing and Infrastructural Development”, Okwa said those to be trained include; those in masonry, carpentry, steel fabrication, electrical, plumbing, tiling among others.
He said that with the enormous shortfall in the housing sector, not less than five to 10 million skilled workers would be needed to meet the housing needs of Nigerians in next 20 years.According to him, these category of workers are considered critical to any nation’s infrastructural development and housing delivery must therefore be encouraged to developed interest in technical and vocational education which would stimulate patronage of indigenous manpower for the growth and development.
Okwa also lamented that many construction workers were retiring and the rate of retirement looks set to increase as about 22 per cent of the workforce are over 50 years while about 15 per cent of them are already in their 60s.
Okwa therefore, urged professional builders, to key into the adoption of the National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF), a framework approved by the Federal government for recognition and certification of skills and vocations outside the school system which, thus, enables placement in the scheme of service, both in the public and private sectors.
The National President of NIOB, Tijani Shuaib represented by Kunle Awobodu, stated that skill acquisition and vocational training in the built industry was a crucial criterion for self-development amongst professionals adding that it was in line with the agenda of the Federal Government towards job creation for the youths.
Earlier, Lagos State Chapter Chairman, Adenike Said, promised that the body shall continue to play its roles as professionals at the centre of building construction.
By Victor Gbonegun