The Federal Government has inaugurated the inter-ministerial Committee established to coordinate and streamline skill acquisition training programmes of government institutions.
Inaugurating the Committee in Abuja, Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said that the proper streamlining and coordination of these programmes would effectively remove duplication, and ensure efficiency and synergy in the use of scarce resources.
The Minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Yerima Peter Tarfa, noted that at present, vocational skill acquisition in Nigeria has been unregulated and largely uncoordinated.
He explained that this has led to haphazard implementation of the programme, with “each Ministry Department and Agency (MDA) of Government carrying out its aspect without recourse to what other institutions were doing.”
He charged the Committee “to make recommendations on the streamlining of existing skill acquisition programmes of MDAs; come up with guidelines that will regulate the establishment of new skill acquisition centres in the country, and come up with a Federal Executive Council Memorandum on recommendations that will require government approval.”
Other terms of reference for the committee are “to identify all MDAs that have skill acquisition centres; undertake on-the-spot assessment of all skill acquisition centres established by federal MDAs with a view to determining their functionality, and develop data base of skill acquisition centres established by federal MDAs.”
Ngige stated that Government would rely on the recommendations of the Committee to refine its skill acquisition policies and strategies in order to chart the way forward.
He disclosed that uncoordinated and unregulated skill acquisition programmes in the country has led to the turning out of half-baked artisans who lack technical competence to meet the demands of their job, among other challenges, noting that the work of the Committee would assist Government to address these.
The Minister enjoined the Committee to be dedicated to the task and discharge their assignment conscientiously.
The Committee, to be chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, has its membership drawn from Federal Ministries of Youth and Sports Development, Women Affairs, Education, and Communication and Digital Economy.
Other members are representatives of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), National Board of Technical Education (NBTE), and Nigeria Employers Consultative Forum (NECA).
Speaking earlier, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Yerima Peter Tarfa, said that setting up the Committee was geared towards achieving the goal of an efficient and coordinated vocational skill development in Nigeria, which is part of the resolutions of the last National Employment Council held last year.
Tarfa, represented by Director, Employment and Wages department of the Ministry, John Nyamali, said that the nation should not only be interested in the construction of vocational skill acquisition centres, but should also “focus more on ensuring that acquired skills match emerging employment opportunities.”