By Hutson Efosa
Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engineer Abubakar D. Aliyu
The Nigerian Government has inaugurated the Sector Skills Council on Construction with core mandate of tackling the skills and productive needs of the construction industry.
The Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engineer Abubakar D. Aliyu, (FNSE), while delivering his speech at the inauguration, revealed that the establishment of the Sector is a deliberate decision of the Federal Government to address the challenges of skills gap, skills supply, skills quality and skills demand of the building sector in the construction Industry of the country.
The Minister, however, spelt out the scope of their mandate as follows: Establishment and maintenance of strategy for the coordination and incorporation of emerging trends in skills development, Development of competency standards and qualifications, Developing a sector skill development plan and maintenance of skill inventory, influence how training is delivered in Nigeria, productivity improvement and consistency in reducing skills gaps and shortages.
The Council is also expected to inherit the National Occupational Standards in some critical trades, a labour market information system and a secretariat with modest personnel from the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), he added.
Again, the Permanent Secretary, of The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Babangida Husseini, enjoined members of the newly inaugurated Council to justify the confidence reposed on them by their appointment, while urging them to think out ways that the sector can reduce the problem of youth unemployment.
He commended the Honourable Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, and the Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing for the various intervention programmes they have introduced toward the attainment of the Ministry’s mandate.
In his welcome remarks, the Chairman Inauguration Committee of the Sector Skills Council on Construction, Dr. Samson Ameh Opaluwa, disclosed that the National Board for Technical Education had obtained an approval of Government through the Federal Ministry of Education to implement and regulate the National Skills qualification Framework (NSQF) in Nigeria in 2014.
He revealed that in constituting the Sector Skill Council, deliberate efforts were made to ensure the representation of a broad spectrum of the stakeholders in the construction industry in Nigeria, adding that it was expected to be a stakeholder and private sector –led, as two third of the nominees were representatives of the Private Sector while one third was made up of relevant government regulatory bodies and actors in the construction and housing sector.
Chairman of the newly inaugurated Council, Engineer Gianfranco Albertazzi, who is also joint Managing Director Borini Prono & Co Nig Ltd, pledged that the council would do Nigeria proud by qualifying and equipping a very large number of citizens to contribute more consciously to the county’s development as well as create an informed middle class, trained in the art of building.
He called for the support of stakeholders both from the government and private sector to achieve their mandate.
Members of the Sector Skills Council include: Federation of the construction Industry (FOCI), representatives of Artisans, Indigenous Contractors, one from each geo-political zone, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Representatives of Awarding Bodies (NIOB), Representatives of training providers, one from each geo- political zone, Facilities Management Consultants, Builders Structure Consultants and Service Consultants.
Others are National Board for Technical Education, (NBTE), Director of building services, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Standard Organisation of Nigeia (SON), Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Family Homes Funds Ltd (FHFL), Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), Architects Registration Council (ARCON), Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN) and Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBONI).