Dangote Group has embarked on promoting and enhancing technical vocational education and building a skilled workforce.
For any economy to achieve sustainable economic development, there must be innovation, industry and people. Innovation refers to the provision of solutions to societal challenges. Industry pushes the bounds of mediocrity and strives for excellence, the exertion and tenacity required to make better. Without the people, none of the others would be needed. The people possess the skills to which innovation and industry are applied.
Skilled labour is a critical consideration for global investment and urban development, having the right people with the right skills for the right jobs has never been more important. Nigeria is not lacking in industry and innovation, seeing the diligence and doggedness applied to remaining profitable within the current economic climate. The challenge lies with the shortage of skills, a widening gap, especially in technical skills, required to move the country from where it is to where it has to be.
In achieving this, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) and German Equipment Manufacturers Association (VDMA) recently formally opened the Train-the-Trainer (Didactic & Rhetoric) Course (ToT) under the Dangote VDMA Initiative on Technical Education & Vocational Training (TVET).
No fewer than 200 Nigerians will be beneficiaries of train-the-trainer (didactic & rhetoric) course under Dangote VDMA Initiative on Technical Education and Vocational Training (TEVT).
The programme which took place at Dangote Academy Complex, Obajana, Kogi State recently, is a culmination of a project, which started on February 10, 2016 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between DIL and VDMA. The two parties had expressed their desire to promote and enhance technical vocational education and TVET in order to develop a skilled workforce in Nigeria.
Accordingly, the TVET Agreement was later signed in November, 2016 for the training of 200 Nigerian youths as Technicians while the approval for the registration and implementation of the agreement was granted by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) on October 11, 2017. The two firms described the commencement of the ToT a major milestone in the effort to fully implement the Project, Dangote VDMA Initiative.
The other milestones of the project being expected later this year include conduct of Aptitude Tests for the admission of candidates, September, 2018, second batch of the ToT, October, 2018, delivery of workshop equipment and tools October, 2018, full scale launch of the Project November, 2018 and commencement of training of the 200 Trainees in December, 2018.
The event had in attendance representatives of VDMA, NOTAP, Management Team of DCP, Obajana and some other BUs in Obajana. The director-general, NOTAP undertook a tour of the Dangote Academy Complex as well as a Plant tour during which he met past and present Trainees of the Dangote Academy.
He expressed great satisfaction with the pace setting initiative of the Dangote Group in the effort to develop technical and engineering skills in Nigeria, urging the Dangote Academy to keep it up and ensure full implementation of the project.
Recently at the 10th Distinguished Lecture Series of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Lagos Chapter, the managing director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Olukayode Pitan, said the stock of competent skilled construction workers is rapidly dwindling, with a 15 per cent annual decline of artisans in the construction sector.
He stated that jobs hitherto meant for Nigerians were gradually being taken by people from other West African countries, leaving the indigenous artisans without work and unable to take on jobs.
Pitan said, “There is a need for the creation and implementation of a deliberate and organised effort to improve the sector. Such effort will, however, commence from identifying and dealing with the different challenges that the sector faces. Among these challenges include shortage of adequately skilled workers, high cost of materials, expensive access to land and limited credible sponsors on large-scale projects.
“For the shortage of skilled workers, I believe we can all agree that one of the major problems facing the construction sector in Nigeria relates to the weak stock of skilled construction workers in the country.”
According to him, a key strategy to address the challenge and thereby reposition the construction sector to growth is the enhancement of domestic construction skills through educational institutions placing emphasis on providing students with practical training to supplement their theoretical knowledge.
DLI operates as a diversified business conglomerate company in Africa. The company engages in the manufacturing/importing, packaging, and distribution of cement; manufacturing and refining of sugar; refining, manufacturing, and marketing of kitchen, table, and industrial salts; manufacturing, importing, and selling of petti tomato paste; milling and packaging of flour; producing pasta, as well as spaghetti and macaroni; producing fruit juices, water, and pasteurised milk and yoghurt drinks; and manufacturing polypropylene sacks.
DLI is a subsidiary of Dangote Group and is one of the largest conglomerates in West Africa with annual revenue of over $3 billion, and over 20,000 employees. The group has operations cutting across various areas of the economy including flour milling, sugar and salt refining, and port operations. The Dangote Group is currently building one of the largest crude oil and petrochemical complexes in Africa.
On the other hand, VDMA is the largest network organisation for mechanical engineering in Europe with more than 3,200 members. The company represents the common economic, technological and scientific interests of this diverse industry.
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