By Ig Nwangwu
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state and a former minister of sports and special duties, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, has advised the Buhari administration and state governments in Nigeria to resuscitate the various moribund vocational and technical colleges and technical skill training institutions all over the country. This, he said, would appropriately address the very all-important issue of training for middle-level manpower in Nigeria, particularly with the level of youth unemployment in the country.
Adedoja stated this in a lecture he titled “The state of Education in Nigeria and the role of Nigerians in the diaspora.” The lecture held Friday in Katy, Houston, Texas in the United States of America and had, in attendance, a group of US-resident Nigerians from different parts of the country.
The former prochancellor of the Federal University, Dutse in Jigawa state, said “while supporting the priority given to science, engineering and technology in the development of the country, it is also important to make adequate provision in our educational policy and implementation strategy for middle-level entrepreneurship in practical vocational and technical skills to fill the gap in Nigeria‘s maintenance culture inherent in vocational and technical schools and colleges as key to the nation’s economy.”
According to Adedoja, “it is sad that several of Nigeria‘s maintenance and technician crews in the aviation industry, sea transportation, housing, railway, military, para military, medical, para medical, automobile, housing, roads and other public utility outlets are being trained with Nigeria’s hard-earned foreign currency in technical schools and colleges in the United States of America (and other foreign countries) when such technical and vocational schools and colleges abound in Nigeria but are not being utilised effectively.”
He further called on Nigerians in the diaspora, the population of whom he put at over 5 million including those in the United States of America, to support the initiatives of the Buhari administration in the education sector in the quest for the training of middle-level manpower which he characterised as a critical requirement for Nigeria‘s economic and social development.
The former provost of the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, in Oyo state, urged the diaspora Nigerians to see it as an act of patriotism towards the growth and development of their fatherland.
Two US-based Nigerian journalists, Dr. Rauf Abiodun and Prince Kunle Olatunji, who coordinated the event, commended Professor Adedoja’s patriotism, particularly his foresight in the education sector, his integrity and achievements in all the public offices he has occupied.