Institute strengthens capacity of artisans, craftsmen
By Perpetua Onuegbu
The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has commenced capacity building of artisans and craftsmen in the built industry to address skills’ dearth and skill importation in the country.
The NIOB President Prof. Yohana Izam said this at the 2023 Mandatory Continuous Professional Workshop for External Quality Assurance Managers on Saturday in Abuja
Izam represented by 2nd Vice President, NIOB, Mr Bimbo Kolade said that the the two-day capacity workshop was organised by the Artisans and Craftsmen Qualification Awarding Board of NIOB
Izam said the workshop was inline with the National Skills Qualification programme of the Government.
“The nation is coming up with the skill qualification. Our youth rather than just going to acquire an education they should alongside with the education acquire a skill.
” And under the National Skill Qualification framework, the Nigerian institute or building is the awarding body that awards skill qualification certificate for the construction workers.
“There are levels with which you go through before you can be and you get qualified in this various levels of training.”
According to him, there are seven trades and these include plumbing, piping jobs, carpentry, aluminum framework, masonry and roofing.
” So we have three levels of assessor, there is the Quality Assurance Assessor. The Internal Verifier Assessor, those ones superintend over the QAA.
“In this training that you are doing now, there is a specialized training for those who are at the highest level of the skill acquisition society which are the External Quality Assurance Assessors. These are quality assurance is managers.
“The participants come from all over the Federation, for now within the construction industry sector, we have 25 of them that are already qualified.
“We have seen some of them going into Morocco or the United Kingdom from where they are recognised and they can practice as quality assurance assessors even in those countries,” Izam said.
Dr Christopher Belonwu, Chairman Artisans and Craftsmen Qualification Awarding Board, said the essence of this training was to bring the participants, up to speed with current practice National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
“At the end of the training you know that so many intervention projects linked to this NSQ, you have the n-power project, the n-skills project, the world Bank ideas project, project teamers, are all on NSQ.
“We want to make sure that all these various intervention projects, the ones that are construction related are executed better in the right way they should be.
“It means that era when certificates are given when people are not qualified, is gone. At the end of this workshop we expect that the skillsmanship of our craftsmen will be sharpened.”
Explaining further on the essence of the workshop on skills importation Belonwu said it would be an end to such practice because Nigerian craftsmen would also do better jobs.
“In doing better it means they have a predefined step of doing the work, they understand the steps, there are actual trade secrets that they try to carry out to do that better.
“So under this NSQ, we now have the standard which other countries do we call it the National Operating Standard.
“It is what all the artisans follow so that they can reach that point that foreigners have reached, they should actually know how to do better jobs and not jump any process.
Mrs Folashade Laja, former Vice-chairman, Artisans and Craftsmen Qualification Awarding Board a participant said it was an avenue for continued professional advancement.
“This is very important that we that are going to the field should ensure that the end product of the NSQ are competent people to be used in the construction industry.
“We also should be abreast of what is going on, so this is like, a kind of peer review, rubbing of knowledgeable minds,” Laja said.
The immediate past President of NIOB, Mr Kunle Awobodu decried the lack of aspiration to greater heights that was prevalent in the present crop of artisans and craftsmen.
This, he adduced to the lack of motivation in the wages being paid to most artisans because of their lack of improvement and expertise in the crafts.
Awobodu, therefore, urged the youth and other professionals to take advantage of this type of mandatory professional development to sharpen their skills and aim for greater heights in their endeavours.