By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Kaduna Chambers of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) has kicked off its second edition of its education fair.
The fair, which has top dignitaries and stakeholders in the Northern educational sector, started on a good note with speakers calling for a concise dedication to skills acquisition by the large population of unemployed and underemployed northern youths.
The occasion chaired by eminent Northern educationist, Dr Adamu Yabani, identified lack of adequate financing of the education sector as the bane of some of the current challenges faced by the region.
The fair with the theme, “Result Oriented Approach to Education for National Development”, was thoroughly addressed by the lead paper presenter, Dr Idris Bugaje, the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), who in his paper titled, “The Role of Technical and Vocational Education in Employment Creation and Poverty Eradication”, identified lack of employable skills as the major problem bedeviling educational development in the North.
According to him, no investment is greater than investment in education.
He identified the current security challenges as a result of the poor educational backgrounds of the Northern teeming youth and called on the Northern government to rise up to the challenge of providing qualitative education across the region with adequate funding as being done by other African countries like Rwanda, Morocco and Uganda.
He said the current five per cent allocated to the Nigeria’s education budget is very poor compared to Rwanda with a 40 per cent budgeted to the educational sector of the country.
He pointed out that despite the provision of functional education that provides service in the system, the current education system in the country is anything but functional.
He suggested the need for skills development as part of tertiary institutions curriculum and pointed out the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as a major step to addressing the issue.
He gave as example the current AKK National Gas Pipeline project as a project the northern youths should be encouraged to participate in by training them with relevant skills to enable them gain meaningful jobs unlike the manual jobs most of them are engaged in.
‘’ The AKK Gas Pipeline is a game changer and we must train our children to participate. We must train them and provide them with modern skills to enable them to work with dignity away from their current positions of working as labourers and guards in this project. The Mambilla Power Project for instance is facing a dearth of skilled Nigerian workers and if care is not taken the Chinese would take over,’’
In his goodwill message delivered by the Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC ), Prof. Umar Danbatta, represented by Ayanbanji Ojo, Head, Consumer Policy Development and Monitoring of the commission, said the they have over the years, been strategic partners with the Kaduna State Government and the KADCIMMA as it leverages on the Kaduna Investment Summit and Kaduna Trade Fair Platform to engage telecom consumers and business owners who are based in the region of the country and have been relying on digital platforms for carrying out their daily, personal and official activities In a more efficient and effective manner.
He said the theme of the fair resonates very well with the NCC and said the commission is intensely focused on bringing efficient and affordable ICT platforms within the reach of every Nigerian student , in tandem with the mandate of the commission to provide broadband penetration across the country.
He said the commission has several intervention projects uniquely designed to encourage the use of ICT across schools in the country among which are Digital Awareness Programme (DAP), Advanced Digital Awareness Program for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI), Tertiary Institution Knowledge Centres (TIKC), Wireless Internet Cloud, and the E-Pads project.
He emphasized that the commission is committed to continuously engaging relevant stakeholders in the country and beyond towards ensuring deepening the country’s digital ecosystem to bring about total digital transformation in the country.
The three-day education fair which is expected to end on on Friday, witnessed the turnout of students from various schools across the state with exhibitions mounted by the students and the Nigerian Communication Commission and the National Board for Technical Education respectively.