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It’s shameful that Indians ‘dominate’ Dangote Refinery – Prof. Bugaje

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The Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof. Idris Bugaje, has described as shameful the lack of required skilled manpower in the country.

Bugaje said the ugly development has seen Indians dominating the medium skilled section of Dangote Refinery.

Speaking at a capacity building workshop for heads of selected institutions and staff of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Centres of Excellence in Abuja, the Professor of Chemical Engineering lamented that while many countries are leveraging skills to boost their economies, Africa is lagging behind and therefore becoming a dumping ground.

READ ALSO:Dangote seeks loan to finance multi-billion naira refinery

“Why is Africa lagging behind, why are we continuing to be a dumping ground,” he queried.

“Skills of today are the global currency of labour anywhere you go, countries around the world are using skills to earn foreign exchange…

“Today, Nigeria is importing thousands of skills, the Dangote Refinery, (one of) the largest in the world 650,000 barrels per day, there are over 2,000 Indian skilled labour, a big shame to us,” Bugaje said.

The NBTE boss also lamented that major infrastructural projects like
the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline and the Mambilla power project required thousands of skilled labour that are nowhere to be found in Nigeria.

He said the absence of adequate numbers of Nigerians with the required skills for the major projects have seen thousands of Chinese workers arriving in the country.

“Even the railway was done by foreign Chinese labour some say they were prisoners that were brought to Nigeria,” he said, adding that most building construction sites in Abuja and other cities in the country are also being flooded from skilled workers from neighbouring Francophone countries.

“There is a need for our polytechnics to be focused on skills training, that is why we say from 2023, NBTE shall never go for any accreditation to any polytechnic where there is not a single skills training centre,” Bugaje said.

Also speaking, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro called on the Centres of Excellence in the polytechnics to focus on skills development, entrepreneurship and starts-up even as he lamented that most of the low and medium skilled jobs in the country are being handled by people from Francophone countries.

“For the polytechnics, the centres of excellence are to focus on skills development and support entrepreneurship, start ups….

“In areas of competitive advantage and you know that skills development is central, it is fundamental. If you miss that area, if your polytechnics does not have the capacity to develop skills or the entrepreneurial ability of its students and researchers, then it has failed the nation.

“That is the area that has been very worrisome for us each time will reflect. It is very embarrassing that in Nigeria, if you go to construction sites, it has improved recently, believe me, Some ten years back, you will to likely to see Francophone personnel that are at construction site more than Nigerians, that shows something is missing, but the polytechnics are trying to address it,” Bogoro said.

 

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