From Emmanuel Iyoho
The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to completing the affordable housing development scheme in Gwagwalada, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), saying funding will be made accessible to subscribers through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
Minister of state for works and housing, Mr Mu’azu Sambo,disclosed this while speaking to members of the Construction Skills Training and Empowerment Project (C- STEMP)-led by a former Minister of state for Health, Mr Gabriel Aduku who paid him a courtesy visit to his Office in Abuja recently.
Sambo, who described construction industry as large employer of labour said millions of Nigerians would be able to put food on their tables if we have a vibrant construction industry.
The minister emphasized the need for competent artisans in the Real Estate Sector as one of the ways of preventing building collapse in the country, saying we all know that one of the reasons for building collapse in this country is attributable to the prevalence of the use of unskilled artisans.
He praised the effort of C-STEMP in coming up with an initiative to fill what he described as a huge gap in the built environment and promised to support them.
“It has been a huge gap in our industry, the construction industry like we all know requires skilled workers. I want to assure the delegation today that they should see us as their partner,” he said.
On the request by the delegation for the reconstitution of the board of the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), the minister promised to discuss with the minister of works and housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, and expressed confidence that it would be treated with priority attention.
Earlier, the director-general of Construction Skills Training and Empowerment Project (C- STEMP),Mr Anthony Okwa, informed the minister that C- STEMP was spurred by the Construction Ideas Fund (CIF) initiated in 2013 by Growth and Empowerment Scheme and the DFID to address the challenge of severe shortage of skilled manpower in the Real Estate sector of the country.
He explained that C-STEMP which has the objective of breaking the paradox of high unemployment and poverty in the midst of severe shortage of skilled manpower in the construction industry, is the pioneer vonstruction skills training provider approved by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
Okwa said that the organisation had embarked on several training programmes at home and abroad to boost the supply of competent artisans and craftsmen.
He revealed that C- STEMP is currently working with CORBON, the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) and National Skills Qualification (NSQ) on a framework through the provision of induction, training and assessment of practicing artisans towards attainment of competence certification in line with National Occupational Standards for construction trade.