FME to Fast Track Institutionalisation of NSQF – Minister

The Honourble Minister of Education, Mal. Adamu Adamu has given the assurance that his ministry will fast tract the institutionalisation of the Nigerian Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) to close the identified skills gap in the Nigerian educational system.

The minister who stated this in his address at the 6th Industry Stakeholder Consultation on the Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework organized by the National Board for Technical Education at the Digital Bridge institute, Oshodi Lagos said skills gap in the Nigerian educational system has hindered the Nigerian graduates at all levels from competing favourably in the global market resulting in not meeting the needs of the employers.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Arc. Sonny Echono, the minister who noted also that the training taking place in the non-formal sector has not been coordinated, standardized and regulated despite its tremendous contribution to the nation's GDP said his ministry will in an effort to address the training shortcomings fast track the institutionalistion of the NSQF, strengthen linkage between the training providers and the industry, promote demand skills training as well as standardize the training in the non-formal  sectors of the economy.

“These are responses to the 21st century global trend and demand for functional competences by the industries and employers. Nigeria must key in if we want to enhance the employability of our youth, reduce poverty, reduce  the incidences of social vices, improve the quality of life, promote peace and democracy in the country” , the minister reiterated.

The minister who commended the efforts of NBTE and its partners in spearheading the institutionalisation of NSQF which he said will eventually address some of the skills challenges in Nigerian economy, said the ministry will work closely with the Board to identify the challenges facing skills development in the country, assuring also that the outcome of the meeting will guide the present administration on the best strategy of developing a productive workforce for the nation.

In his presentation, the Executive Secretary of NBTE, Dr. Masa'udu Adamu Kazaure who took time to analyse the Nigerian skills indices, skills development challenges in Nigeria, overcoming the challenges, institutionalisation of NSQF and opportunity for industry/employers participation, noted that industry and employers can participate in the framework by operating NVQ training centres and or as awarding bodies.

Goodwill messages were delivered by the President NACCIMA, who was represented by the Vice Chairman Technical and Vocational Education, the ITF Director of Training, the Registrar COREN, Proprietor of Prime Polytechnic, Kogi State.

In his remarks, the NACCIMA Vice Chairman Ethnical and Vocational Education said that with the institutionalization of the NSQ, the government  is now responding to their call for improvement in technical and vocational education.

Also, the Senior Special Adviser to Lagos State Government on Technical and Vocational Education, Mr. Temi Olusanya said the state government wants TVET to drive Lagos economy which he said is in line with what the federal government is doing to develop TVET to drive the national economy.

The representative of Ogun State Chamber of Commerce (OGUNCCIMA) and member Ogun State Technical and Vocational Education Board, Mr. Jare Oyesola advocated the adoption of dual vocational training model for sharing of industry resources and equipment for training by schools. He said industries will benefit more if they form dual vocational training which he also said will enable the NSQ work better. He enjoined operators of the private sector to support students in technical colleges through sponsorship and provision of equipment for training.

In his contribution, the Registrar of COREN, Engr. W.K Maliki FNSE, said the Council was making efforts to internationalize its degrees and diplomas to ensure that Nigerian Engineering graduates can work anywhere in the world and gave the assurance that COREN is totally in support of the NSQF.

Participants later broke into syndicate group discussion and presentation on NSQF on issues relating to Policy, Funding, Apprenticeship and Development of Sector Skills Councils.

The group on Policy issues in their submission called for legislation to enforce the NSQF, need for private sector to form a pressure group to lobby lawmakers for the provision of the enabling legislation for NSQF, government should enforce the employment of products of NSQF in public and private sectors, need for a national policy on skills and employability for government and private sectors, government should create pathways for academic progression of products of NSQF, all state governments should have a TVET board that involves the private sector, and need for massive advocacy and publicity of NSQF.

The group on Funding called for special tax and levies for the funding of NSQF, also source fund from NGOs endorsement, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), contribution from all public examination bodies (JAMB, NECCO, WAEC, NABTEB etc), infrastructure/equipment provision, membership/ sponsorship of programme and establishment of National Skills Trust Fund (NSTF) with contribution of .01% from CSR and .20% from examination bodies among others.

On the role of Sector Skills Councils, the group advocated aggressive marketing of NSQF through advocacy and publicity, development of National Occupational Standards (NOS), development, review and update of qualifications, development of NOS into local languages for wider coverage and capacity building of members.

The group on Apprenticeship called for empowerment of apprentice through the N-Power programme, inclusion of the apprenticeship training into the educational curriculum, partnership with organized private sector and sponsorship and support of apprentice by Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), TETFund etc.