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Building guild warns on decline in construction craftsmen competency

In a renewed effort to reduce the spate of unsatisfactory works in building production across the country, members of Building Collapse Prevention Guild Ikorodu Cell have asked stakeholders in the construction industry to promote the use of competent craftsmen.

They appealed to the Nigerian Board for Technical Education to sustain the newly introduced National Skills Qualifications Framework is aimed at assessing and upgrading the competency of construction artisans and craftsmen.

The group made the call at a seminar organised by the built environment professionals (BCPG members) in Ikorodu area of Lagos State. The seminar, titled; “Profiling Craftsmen Competency in the Nigerian Construction Industry” was organised to coincide with the first anniversary of the demise of the pioneer Coordinator of BCPG Ikorodu Cell, Mr. Kayode Beckley, who was a professional builder.

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Speaking at the event, the guest speaker, Mr. Salisu Harfiz of the Department of Building Technology, Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu lamented the Nigerian academic system has failed to pay adequate attention to handicraft training, leading to half-baked craftsmen that have been creating competency challenges on construction sites.

Mr. Harfiz, who is the Second Vice- President of the Nigerian Association of Engineering Craftsmen (NAEC) advocated for an increase in the provision of current technological training and newly manufactured tools and equipment in technical colleges and construction- skills- acquisition centres across the country.

He recognised the recent efforts of both Lagos and Federal governments at uplifting the system of apprenticeship.

The Coordinator of BCPG Ikorodu cell, Mr. Olusola Amusan, an architect, enjoined clients and those who would want to engage
the services of craftsmen in the informal sector to insist on seeing and verifying the certificates of the craftsmen before giving them job.

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The Vice Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of BCPG, Col. Olajide Olayinka (rtd), an estate surveyor and valuer, encouraged parents to see future value in vocational education rather than pursuing mere academic programme that would lead their children to idleness from unemployment.

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The treasurer of BCPG Lagos State Chapter, Mrs. Olukemi Okusaga, who, is a quantity surveyor counseled on the extra cost that could be incurred in future corrections on the substandard construction works carried out by incompetent craftsmen that might have charged low on workmanship.

The BCPG President, Mr. George Akinola, a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects promised that BCPG would upload on its website the data of competent craftsmen for the benefit of developers. He pleaded with construction companies to embark on social responsibility by allowing craftsmen undergo practical training to learn on their sites.

Ijeoma Thomas-Odia



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