Abuja – The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has urged state governments to upgrade technical colleges to fulfil their roles of producing skilled engineering technicians for the country.
COREN President, Mr Kashim Ali, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
Ali decried the deplorable state of equipment in most of the technical colleges which were established in the 1970s for the purpose of training some category of engineering personnel for the industry.
He noted that most of the technical colleges established during the period have either been converted into different institutions or shut down, while the few existing ones were ill-equipped.
“Technical colleges were established in the 70s as specialised institutions for training of personnel in carpentry, woodwork, metal fabrications, masonry, electrical installations and other technical vocations.
“Unfortunately, these specialised institutions are no longer existing and where they exist, they are dilapidated and their capacity to train this cadre of technical manpower is very low.
“The state governments should, as a matter of priority, upgrade and equip the technical colleges to produce competent engineering technicians for the building and construction industry.
“If the nation is to develop technologically, state governments must upgrade the technical colleges to be able to fulfil their expected roles. We can then register and regulate these technicians,’’ he said.
He said that COREN would meet with the Nigerian Governors Forum on the need to revamp technical colleges to fast track the promotion of technical education in the country.
Ali also revealed that COREN has commenced discussions with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity to restore integrity in the process of issuing Trade Test Certificates.
“COREN is also taking the issue of Trade Test Certificates very seriously because the process for this level of certification has been bastardised such that people are just taking Trade Test without the pre-requisite qualification.
“Most holders of the Trade Test are not able to justify the qualifications as they fail to live up to expectation when it comes to the practical demonstration of competencies.
“We are in discussion with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity on strategies to restore confidence of stakeholders in the integrity of the Trade Test Certificates,’’ Ali said.
The COREN president announced that the council was working in partnership with some credible institutions in Lagos, Katsina and Kano states to train artisans to meet industry standards. (NAN)