President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Federal Ministries of Works and Lands, Housing and Urban Development to urgently prepare action plan for speedy revitalisation of the nation’s vocational training centres.
A statement by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said Buhari gave the directive at a meeting with the Board of Directors of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.
It said that the president was told that, because of shortage of competent construction workers and artisans in the country, construction companies were forced to bring in skilled expatriates.
The statement quoted the president as observing that the practice was very detrimental to his administration’s commitment to boost employment opportunities for young Nigerians.
“Buhari, therefore, pledged that his administration would move quickly to address the shortage of skilled construction workers in the country.
“He demanded for a comprehensive report on the current status of existing vocational training centres established by the Federal Government across the country.
“He said that his administration would take necessary action to reposition the centres as efficient producers of skilled workers for Nigeria’s building and construction industry,” it said.
According to the statement, the president assured that his administration would ensure that the Building Craft Training School and Skill Improvement Centre in Lagos were fully revamped, staffed and equipped to produce more skilled artisans.
Technicians expected to be trained at the centres, it said, included electricians, brick and block layers, carpenters, painters, welders, fabricators and plumbers.
Buhari reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the proper education and training of Nigerian youths for the current demands of the labour market.
He said that the Federal Government would act expeditiously to remove all impediments to the fulfillment of its promise of more jobs for unemployed Nigerians.
He also assured that in spite of present funding challenges, the government would continue to do everything possible to settle genuine outstanding payments due to contractors.