Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) and Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Program (SURE-P), has put together an Up-skilling Training Workshop for building construction Artisans and Craftsmen on basic construction and entrepreneurship skills, across the nation. The first phase is meant to train about 1000people (30 persons per state and Abuja). The North-Central Zone seminar took place in Abuja and attracted major stakeholders in the construction industry. The South-West Zone seminar took place in Ibadan, and that of South- East took place in Aba, Abia State. The remaining three zones will have their own to make up the required number, in the first phase.
The seminar has been highly commended by those that matter in the industry. The first Vice President of NIOB, Blbr. Tijani Shuaibu, said the event should have taken place over a decade ago, but was quick to add that no time is late provided the right thing is done. He told newsmen that NIOB has been doing her best in the area of human capital development without support from the states or federal government. He was of the opinion that if government should give some kind of help to support the train the trainer seminar, the country will be better for it in no time. The idea behind the program, according to him, is to training the first sets who will go to the states and continue to train other members of their groups.
Another stakeholder who commended the program is the President of Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI), and the MD/CEO of S&M Nig. Ltd., Bldr. Ogunbusola Solomon. He said the seminar, like Tijani Shuaibu said, is long overdue. He said “we are training our artisans to take over from foreigners”. These foreigners are craftsmen from countries like Togo, Benin, India, China etc. He asserted that some of those receiving the training had never had formal training in their life and were then getting it at old age. According to him, if there had been a program for training craftsmen in the past, the country would have gone far in the sector.
The five day North Central seminar has opened the eyes of Nigerians about government policies. The Chapter Chairman of NIOB, Bldr. Musa Yakubu, said the selection process for participants at the seminar was open and fair. He said participants were selected on first come first serve basis. He explained the rationale behind the seminar as an avenue to move the building industry forward thereby creating wealth for the country. He said the artisans needed to be trained as builders like him could only oversee the activities of the artisans and craftsmen, hence the conception and implementation of the program.
The opening ceremony witnessed a number of quality paper presentations from scholars and practitioners. The North central Coordinator of NIOB, Bldr. Dr. D. D. Jambol presented the first paper. Other dignitaries at the event spoke growingly about the event and praised NIOB for collaborating with SURE-P to set the ball rolling in up-skilling the knowledge of artisans and craftsmen. The event was anchored by Bldr. Ogbagha James.