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World Bank commits $200m to vocational education in Nigeria



Nigeria, not a fragile state — World Bank

World Bank’s Senior Education Specialist in Nigeria, Mr Tunde Adekola, says the bank has committed 200 million dollars to the advancement of technical and vocational education in the country.

Adekola made the declaration on Monday in Abuja at the launch of the framework for National Apprenticeship and Traineeship System (NATS) organised by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in partnership a private company.

He said the fund was for a World Bank-assisted education project called Innovative Development for Effectiveness and Skills Acquisition in Nigeria.

He said it was part of the support given to the Nigerian government to turn technical and vocational education around.

According to him, it is a Federal Government project aimed at supporting three technical colleges in each of the six geopolitical zones to become Centres of Excellence.

He said Edo was chosen for the South-South, Benue for North Central, Kano State for Northwest, Gombe State for Northeast, Ekiti for Southwest and Abia for Southeast.

The specialist said that the funds would cover four thematic areas.

“It is a four year project and we are into the second year already,” he said.

Adekola said technical and vocational were the ways to go in solving skills gap in Nigeria.

On the launch of the framework, he said there was a need for state actors and non-state actors to collaborate in institutionalising apprenticeship in Nigeria.

He said Nigeria was blessed with human resources, adding that what was required was innovation on how to turn such strength into wealth creation.

Adekola said it was important for ITF and other stakeholders to prioritise digital literacy, equitable representation of women and people living with disabilities in their plans.

In his remarks, the Director-General of ITF, Mr Joseph Ari, said the launch was part of efforts to deploy skills acquisition to combat unemployment and poverty, while ensuring overall growth.

He said the framework, which was a policy document, focused on adoption and institutionalisation of NATS.

“The pathway to this current policy of NATS came about on account of a robust trajectory of vision formulation.

“At inception of the current management of ITF in 2016, the Reviewed Vision for Mandate Actualisation was put in place.

“By the middle of 2022, the ITF, leveraging on new training trends, realised the need to refocus its operations along indices that will escalate job and wealth creation.

“We had synergies and experience with Germany on its Dual System, Crown Agents of the UK, Senai of Brazil and GIMI of Israel.

“All of them emphasised apprenticeship, so it became imperative to develop a new vision along that pathway.

“The Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), the umbrella body of the Organised Private Sector, and the Skills for Prosperity, UK became readily available.

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Cecilia Ijuo

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