Skills development arising from technical and vocational education in Nigeria can galvanize the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector which is key to the industrial and economic advancement of the country.
A skills acquisition and vocational training centre President of Vocational and Technical Educators of Nigeria, Prof. Patrick Egbule, stated this at the 25th International Conference of Vocational and Technical Educators recently held in University of Calabar.
According to Egbule, industrial and economic advancement in the country can become effective with skills in technical and vocational education which can galvanize the MSMEs sector. “The time is now for every Nigerian to be equipped with saleable skills with which they can contribute to society through meaningful work, especially in a post-oil boom economy.
Our way out of recession lies therein,” he stated. The university don identified acquisition of vocational and technical skills by Nigerians as the ultimate panacea to the current economic recession in the country.
He said recent experiences have shown that it is human capital rooted in skills development that determines the wealth of nations not just possession of abundant natural resources. This, he noted, explains why a country like Japan with virtually no natural resources has one of the largest economies in the world, while oil-rich countries such as Venezuela, Nigeria and Gabon are debt-ridden.
“The human resources aspect of development should be appropriately refocused because it is capable of helping Nigeria achieve agricultural, technological and overall economic boom,” he added. Egbule said the theme for the conference, “Repositioning Technical and Vocational Education for Post-Oil Boom Economy”, was thoughtfully chosen.
According to him, the aim was to provide a forum for tertiary institution educators, professionals, administrators and technical education practitioners to “meet and brainstorm on mechanisms to strategically reposition technical and vocational education to play its vital role of building skills and capacity in Nigeria to boost productivity, reduce unemployment and poverty in the post-oil boom economy in Nigeria.”