Following the approval of the appointment of Prof. Idris M. Bugaje as the substantive Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the new Executive Secretary on Wednesday 21st April 2021 formally received handover notes from the Acting Executive Secretary of the Board, Engr. Abati Muhammad in a brief ceremony held in the NBTE Board Room Kaduna.

While addressing Management staff of the Board, the new Executive Secretary, who also unveiled a 3Ss Road Map for the Board, stated that he accepted the appointment of the ES of NBTE because he viewed it as a call for national service and his determination to transform the Board and make it occupy its rightful place in the scheme of things in the country and beyond.

According to Prof. Bugaje, his administration will, within the first year, be anchored on a 3Ss agenda namely; Scheme of Service, Skills, and the NBTE Spirit.

On Scheme of Service, Prof. Bugaje said that it is important for the Polytechnic sector to have a unified scheme of service such that staff of NBTE will also exit the service at the age of 65 during which they will have the opportunity to go on sabbatical to Polytechnics just as Polytechnic staff will also come to NBTE on sabbatical to promote interaction and understanding among the stakeholders in the TVET sector.

On Skills, he explained that in order to train and equip the teaming youth with relevant skills that can enable them get jobs, the Board will revive its zonal offices to carryout advocacy on skills and interface with industries and other agencies in the zones on skills development, adding that model skills centres would also be set up in the six geopolitical zones in collaboration with the industries.

The new Executive Secretary said that staff of the Board would be trained to be qualified assessors and verifiers of skills in other to successfully carry out the task of assessing and verifying skills of Nigerians. He further said the model of skills development found in Morroco is the type that Nigeria should also strive to adopt and even improve upon. Prof. Bugaje also expressed readiness to brief the NBTE Board Chairman to convince the Vice President, who is the Chairman of the National Skills Council, to be Nigeria’s skills ambassador and chief promoter.

To revive the NBTE Spirit, the ES said he expects the current low spirit of the staff to be revived to what NBTE was known to be. He decried what he referred to as ‘the low level NBTE has descended into and almost forgotten in the country’ and urged all staff to sit up so that the board can regain its lost glory. He assured staff that he will work with anybody that is able to deliver results and further encouraged the staff union in the board to be active in terms of engaging management in areas that will promote the overall interest of the Board and the TVET sector in general.

The ES also revealed that he has resolved to make a strong case at the TETFund board for NBTE staff to also benefit from training sponsorship that is enjoyed by the polytechnic staff. According to him, such training will equip the staff to carry out their duties professionally and competently.

Prof. Bugaje argued that, the Board can not shy away from engaging in IGR (Internally Generated Revenue) activities. To this end, he disclosed that the Board will register a consultancy company that will carry out training and other services to clients in order to generate funds to carry out some of its functions.

For the Board to carryout credible accreditation, the ES said the relevant authorities such as the Budget Office and the Ministry of Finance including the National Assembly will be engaged to ensure that there is budgetary provision for accreditation of government schools so that the current practice where schools pay for accreditation exercise with a tendency to influence outcomes will no longer continue.

Jacob Abang

Deputy Director (Public Relations and Media)