From Francis Akinnodi, Ondo
Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Ile-Oluji (FEDPOLEL), Prof. Adedayo Fasakin has said that the role of technical manpower education in the productive existence and consistent development of any nation in the 21st century cannot be over emphasized.
Fasakin noted that through technical education, a nation is able to innovate, design, adapt and improve on technologies which in turn drive all spheres of the national life.
He however said that the Nigeria scenario is not different, as technical manpower has contributed immensely to the national development in diverse areas.
“The government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has over the years attached great importance to the provision of technical and vocational education. This is evident in the continuous approval for the establishment of increasing numbers of Polytechnics and Monotechnics as well as rallying the required financial and governmental support towards the qualitative and quantitative productivity of such institutions.
“The need for technical education permeates all the sectors of the Nigerian economy ranging from agriculture to health, construction, manufacturing, aviation and business”, he said.
Fasakin added that the technical education provides a double-edged opportunity for its possessors by making youths employable by firms and more importantly, making them entrepreneurs and job creators.
In spite of these laudable opportunities afforded citizens, he said there has been a continuous decline in subscription of technical education by the nation’s teeming youths in preference for university education.
“This increasing reduction in the patronage of technical education has continued to create a wide gap in the manpower structure of the nation. A more surprising revelation is the fact that even though Nigeria graduates continue to be jobless, there is an acute shortage of artisans and technical manpower in the country.
“And that is why President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive to Federal Ministries of Works and lands, Housing and Urban Development to urgently prepare and present for approval and implementation a plan of action for the speedy revitalisation and expansion of the nation’s vocational training centres.
“Due to shortage of competent construction workers and artisans, many construction companies were forced to bring in skilled workers from aboard”.
Fasakin urged governments at all levels to invest more in technical manpower education to make youths self-reliance in order to reduce the level of unemployment in the society.