Private sector critical in reviving skills acquisition centres – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government will collaborate more with the private sector, especially in the relevant policy formation process and the management of skills centres in the country.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, stated on Monday in Abuja, that the vice-president made the declaration when he presided over a meeting of the National Council on Skills (NCS).

The council resolved to give more roles to the Organised Private Sector (OPS) as a means to closing the skills acquisition gap in the country.

Based on the approval of the council, the OPS would be interested into the NCS in its activities.

The OPS will be represented by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture.

The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, among others will also represent the OPS in the NCS.

The meeting also resolved to, among other things, encourage the establishment of states councils on skills to complement and replicate efforts made at the national level to deeply tackle the issue of skills gap.

Osinbajo said that it was clear that the private sector had critical roles to play in resuscitating many of the skills centres across the country, stating that the sector was better positioned to determine the needs of industries.

The vice-president emphasised the point about creating opportunities for digital skills acquisition as well as other relevant skills across different sectors, also with the active collaboration between the public and private sectors.

“This can be achieved by collaborating with private sector stakeholders to, among other things, get accurate data on the skills gap in the country and how to better address them.

“The establishment and running of the various skills centres should be private sector-driven; it shouldn’t be left to the government alone to manage.

“The industry players know where the gaps exist,’’ he said.

Kano State governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje also shared lessons learnt from operationalisation of the Kano State Skills Acquisition Centre in collaboration with the Dangote Foundation to back up the resolution.

“The Skills Acquisition Centre is being managed in collaboration with the Dangote Foundation as a good example of collaboration with the private sector.

“The objective is to ensure that it is run on a sustainable basis,’’ Ganduje said.

The council also approved the adoption of the revised Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework, presented by the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Prof. Idris Bugaje.

It is to have a more standardised framework for the certification of skills in the country.

The NCS endorsed the report of the inter-ministerial team on training of youths in relevant trades and skills.

This is especially the sub-committees’ proposals on Training Modules, Building and Works, Information Technology, Agriculture, Automobile Servicing, and Basic Management and Accounting.

Members of council present at the meeting included the deputy governor of Borno, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu; and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo.

Some more were the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, and Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Henry Ikoh.

Representatives of the Head of Service of the Federation, and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, among others also attended the meeting. (NAN)

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