THE Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Professor Idris Muhammad Bugaje, has announced 2023 as the deadline for all polytechnics in Nigeria to have established well-equipped and functional skills development centres.
He warned the institutions that are yet to establish one, that after 2023, the board would no longer visit such polytechnic for the accreditation of their programmes.
Bugaje spoke at a capacity-building workshop organised by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), for heads of selected institutions and staff of TETFund Centres of Excellence on Tuesday last week.
He commended the executive secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro for his passion for the institutionalisation of Research and Development (R&D).
Bugaje, who said Bogoro’s name would be written in gold when the history of the country’s academic community is written, said polytechnics must wake up to the responsibility of producing skilled manpower in the country.
The NBTE boss expressed serious concerns that most major infrastructure projects in the country are being dominated by skilled personnel from other countries.
“There is a need for our polytechnics to be focused on skills training, which is the reason we say from 2023, NBTE shall no longer accredit any polytechnic, where there is not a single skills training centre,” Bugaje said.
The executive secretary of TETFund, in his remark, called on polytechnics and colleges of education in the country to place emphasis on innovation to position the country on the path of rapid development.
Bogoro, who said there were indices that are globally associated with centres of excellence, especially in bringing about innovation and development, said the two-day event was organised to ensure proper understanding of the concept of the centres by those that would be in charge of them.
He called on the centres of excellence in the polytechnics to focus on skills development, entrepreneurship and start-ups businesses even as he lamented that most of the low and medium skilled jobs in the country are being handled by the people from Francophone countries.
“For the polytechnics, the centres of excellence are to focus on skills development and support entrepreneurship and startups.
While saying the centres of excellence in the colleges of education will focus on relevant pedagogical development, the TETFund boss said that the beneficiary centre will get about $2 million dollars.
The event had in attendance experts from the World Bank-sponsored African Centres of Excellence in universities.
TETFund had recently established centres of excellence in six polytechnics and six colleges of education.
The South-East has the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State and the Alvan Federal of Education, Owerri, Imo State. The South-South’s beneficiaries include Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State and Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku, Rivers State while Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and Adeyemi College Education, Ondo State made it from the South-West.