The maiden edition of Nigeria Skills Expo and Construction Artisans Awards commenced in Abuja today. The two-day event will feature participants from the six geo-political zones in the country, competing in 7 major building trades.
While delivering his welcome address, the President, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria(REDAN),and Chairman Board of Trustees of C-STEmp, Rev Ugochukwu Chime, noted that the event is not only capable of turning around the lives of artisans for the better, but will also improve the construction industry.
He said ‘’the event will herald a remarkable transformation not only in the lives of many of our compatriots, especially the target beneficiaries, who are the teeming masses of unemployed youth and other stakeholders, but also in the performance of the construction industry and the quality of the built environment’’.
Speaking further, he said the issue of unemployment can be addressed through technical and vocational education. ‘’As a nation, we are living witnesses to the frustration, anger and confusion in the land, which we believe can be addressed through vocational skills acquisition especially in the construction sector which has huge employment generation prospects’’.
He added that ‘’a deliberate recourse and refocusing on Vocational Skills development offers the best and quickest means to retracing our steps from the precipe of socio-economic disaster to full realization of the economic potentials God has endowed this country with.’’
‘’The primary challenge to Vocational skills development, stems from the negative social image, perception and attractiveness of Technical and Vocational Education and Training(TVET),not only in less developed countries like Nigeria, but also in developed countries’’.
Rev Chime commended the active support of major stakeholders like the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), National Social Investment Office (NSIO) Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) and Nigeria Institute of Builders (NIOB), the Federation of the Construction Industry, (FOCI) and Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN).
Dignitaries at the event included; Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education, Arc Sunny Echono, Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Development, Afolabi Imoukhuede, Veteran Architect, Arc Gabriel Aduku, President Nigeria Institute of Builders(NIOB) Bldr Kenneth Nduka, and CEO, Construction Industry Training Board of Northern Ireland(CITB NI)Mr Barry Neilson.
Others dignitaries present included; Representative of the President, Federation of the Construction Industry, (FOCI),Mrs Bunmi Adekoju, Representative of the Chairman of Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON)Engr Samson Opaluwah and Hon Bala Kaoje.
The Construction Artisans Awards (CAA) was conceived as part of a holistic strategy to generate excitement and interest in the construction trades. It will bring over 15,000 artisans and up to 5,000 spectators, visitors and stakeholders together as well as millions of viewers globally through broadcast on international and national television and the internet.
The skills competitions offers a unique opportunity for skilled Artisans and apprentices to showcase the knowledge, skills and experience they have acquired over the years in order for them to be celebrated by their employers, friends, families as well as communities.
The awards also offers construction companies, real estate developers, equipment and tools as well as materials manufacturers to showcase their products and demonstrate their commitment to quality craftsmanship by showcasing their products and services especially to the artisans who not only directly handle them, but very often determine their patronage.
Features of the Small Scale Building Materials Production Workshop are;
- Paint Making – Emulsion paints, textured paints, Sandtex paints
- 3D Wall Decoration And Embossment
- Cracked Tile Production – various floor and wall tiles
- Production of white glue or wood adhesive
- Production of particle boards, partitioning boards and suspended ceiling
- Making various types of sand paper
- Production of interlocking tiles and pavement tiles
- Production of polystyrene boards, parapet boards and decorative materials
- Mould making and designs
- 1 Demonstration of how to make stone coated roof tiles
The 7 categories of the awards are;
- Best artisan in Masonry, concreting and plastering
- Best artisan in carpentry and joinery
- Best artisan in welding and steel fabrication
- Best artisan in plumbing installation
- Best artisan in electrical installation
- Best artisan in tiling and decorative stone work
- Best artisan in painting and decoration
The best Artisan will receive One Million Naira, a complete tool kit Set, and automatic employment. While the best female Artisan and best young artisan will go home with N500, 000 and N100, 000 respectively.
Source: Affa Dickson Acho