…Says NASENI willing to partner with NBTE, polytechnic on devt of pilot plants
The Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) has been described as a veritable instrument in linking industries, academia and technological advancements for the promotion of research and development (R&D) for the growth of the nation’s economy.
The executive vice chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammed Haruna, who was the special guest at the commissioning of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) R&D and Innovation Exhibition Hall recently in Kaduna disclosed this while presenting his paper titled: “The Role of Polytechnic Research, Development and Innovation in the Socio-economic development of Nigeria”.
While emphasising the importance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the socio-economic development of any nation, Prof. Haruna said: “The foundation of a knowledge-based economy is formed on a tripod comprising of technicians (craftsmen and women), technologists and engineers, who must work together in ensuring Nigeria’s transition from a consume- based economy to a manufacturing economy.
“Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) has been recognised as instrumental towards making extraordinary contributions to industries and technological work environments.
“Developed and developing countries such as China, USA, Japan, Singapore, Germany and the Asian Tigers attained tremendous heights in terms of industrialisation resulting from consistent and substantial investments in TVET in all economic ramifications for their citizens.”
The EVC noted that NASENI, as an agency of the Federal Government with the primary objective of empowering small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) through the impartation of technologies, engineering principles and practices for the production of equipment that will meet international standards and sustain a flourishing local capital goods-based industry, is willing to partner with the NBTE and polytechnics in the development of a pilot plant on promising R&D and innovation prototype.
Haruna, a professor of electrical engineering and an alumnus of both the Plateau State Polytechnic Barkin Ladi and Kaduna Polytechnic, shared his experience from the glorious days when polytechnics were known to produce relevant and quality graduates who were highly sort after by employers of labour from the private sector and various industries.
He also recalled a time when there was a mutually beneficial synergy and collaboration between industries and polytechnics. “[All that] is now completely history.”
The NASENI boss, however, called on the NBTE to review the operation of double stream classes called ‘consultancy classes’ where students of polytechnics were admitted for afternoon and evening classes only. He said the development has lowered the standard and quality of polytechnic graduates.
Haruna congratulated NBTE for promoting technology through the commissioning of a research, development and innovation exhibition hall for the TVET sector and emphasised NASENI’s willingness to partner with the board and any polytechnic with a promising prototype of research output to develop a pilot plant, as well as investment in joint ventures with the private sector for commercial production.
A statement by the agency’s chief information officer, Obiorah- Ekwuazi Chinyere, said the highlight of the event was the commissioning and inspection of the exhibition hall.