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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Skill acquisition crucial for industrial growth- Minister

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The Minister of State for the Ministry of Steel Development, His Excellency Uba Maigari Ahmadu, has emphasized the pivotal role of skill acquisition in driving industrial development, enhancing human capital for economic growth, creating employment opportunities, and strengthening the industrial fabric of the African continent.

Speaking at the 2nd Annual Assembly and International Welding Federation Africa Conference in Lagos, on Tuesday, the Minister highlighted that the conference represents a significant milestone in the collective efforts to promote excellence and innovation in the field of welding across Africa. It will enhance advanced welding technologies, foster collaboration, drive sustainable development, promote knowledge exchange, and disseminate best practices in the industry.

Ahmadu commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s visionary leadership and steadfast commitment to advancing the welding sector under the Renewed Hope Agenda. He stated, “President Tinubu’s National Welding Policy, launched in December 2023, exemplifies a strategic approach to leveraging our natural resources and human capital to drive economic growth, create employment opportunities, and enhance industrial competitiveness. Central to President Tinubu’s welding policy is the recognition of the critical role played by training and skills development in building a skilled workforce capable of meeting the demands of a rapidly evolving industry.”

The Minister highlighted the pivotal role of the Metallurgical Training Institute (NMTI) in Onitsha, an institution dedicated to equipping youths with the requisite skills and knowledge in welding and metallurgy. He stated, “Through its innovative curriculum and hands-on learning approach, the institute is empowering youths with the practical skills and technical expertise needed to excel in the welding profession.”

Ahmadu assured of the Nigerian Government’s firm commitment to work hand-in-hand with the Welding Federation Africa to explore partnerships in areas such as modernizing welding training infrastructure, developing industry-aligned curricula, establishing international certification programs, investing in outreach programs to encourage young Nigerians (particularly women and those in underserved communities) to pursue careers in welding, and promoting the economic viability of the welding profession.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Amb. Nura Abba Rimi, represented by Director Industrial Development, Muhammad Bala, in His remarks, stated that the ministry is committed to implementing strategic policies to enhance the fabrication of machinery and equipment, aligning with the evolving landscape of materials manufacturing technologies. He revealed that the ministry has entrusted the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) with a strategic order to prioritize and expedite welding skills development initiatives.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Welding Federation (TWF) Conference Management Committee, Dr. Austen Timi Peters, stated that the fully developed Federation could shore up foreign exchange and contribute to the growth of the economy, adding that developing welding skills “can take unemployed youths off the streets.”

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