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Why We Initiated Nigerian Skills Expo/Artisans Awards- Samson Opaluwah

The Chairman Technical Committee of the Construction Artisans Awards 2019, Bldr. Samson Opaluwah,said the maiden edition of the Nigerian Skills Expo/Construction Artisans Awards, was created to engineer a shift in attitudes and commitment to the development of skills, competencies and excellent workmanship in the construction industry.

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He stated this while giving his remarks at the closing ceremony of the first ever Construction Artisans Awards, in Nigeria. He said ‘’ Recognizing the challenge posed by the low level of recognition for artisans, in spite of  their critical roles in building & infrastructure development, management and maintenance in our country, C-STEmp decided to institute the awards as part of a holistic strategy to generate excitement, interest and reward expertise in the construction trades’’.

Speaking further, he noted that, the initiative was received with mixed feelings among stakeholders at the onset, but that changed when it received encouragement and support from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), and other local and international partners.

‘’When The idea of the Construction Artisans Awards (CAA)was mooted by the organizers, C-STEmp , during the flag off of the Construction Skills Training and Empowerment project by the representative of the Honourable Minister for Works, Power & Housing Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), exactly three years ago, it was received with mixed feelings by the stakeholders in the Construction Sector.

But the initiative received a boost by the introduction of the National Skills Qualification Framework by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). This led to the development of the National Occupational Standards for Construction trades by the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), with the support of the DFID, the British Council, and GIZ’’.

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He added that with the successful hosting of the maiden edition of the Construction Artisans Awards, Nigeria and indeed Africa’s construction sector stands to benefit from it.

‘’All of these herald a transition that should take the construction artisans, and indeed the construction industry and the nation to the next level in readiness to compete on the global platform and to attain self-sufficiency and 100% local capacity in the construction industry’ ’Said Opaluwah.

Source: Affa Dickson Acho

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