The executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote, has said that with a total number of 24 million pupils in Nigeria’s primary schools, requiring 50 million pencils yearly, Nigeria can create new jobs and generate huge income if the pencils are produced locally.
Speaking on the topic “Sustaining Local Content through Quality Education and Training,” , at the first education summit organized by the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN), where he was also given an award, Wabote harped on the need to domicile the production of educational materials used at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
He informed that data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that about five million pupils are enrolled into our primary schools every year while the total population in all the primary schools is about 24 million. He added that “24 million pupils mean that we should be producing at least 50 million pencils every year in our country. Imagine the number of employment generated if this is the case and the retained value if such endeavour is done in-country.
“We need about two million computers every year just for our secondary and university students. These are just some of the opportunities that could help booster our local content practice. There are much more from shoes to uniforms and the rest. That is the reason we have always advocated for sectoral linkages to other sectors of the economy such as ICT, power, and construction if we truly want to deepen our local content practice,” he said.
Wabote explained further that there are five key parameters required for sustainable local content practice, listing some of them to include the existence of a regulatory framework to specify the roles and expectations of stakeholders in the implementation process and capacity building of local manufacturing, infrastructural development and human capacity.
Other necessary parameters include periodic gap analysis to determine gaps that are needed to be closed in the areas of skills, facilities and infrastructure, research and development (R&D) and the provision of funding and incentives to attract new investments and keep existing businesses afloat where required.
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