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Manpower board laments shortage of technicians in labour market

By Emma Ujah
Wednesday, August 27, 2003

ABUJA — THE National Manpower Board (NMB), has cried out over the disequilibrium of too many university graduates and too few technicians in the labour market.

The Executive Secretary (ES) of the board, Mr. Umunnakwe Anyanwu, said in Abuja, yesterday, that immediate steps must be taken to address the disequilibrium, adding, there is a ratio of 3-1between university graduates and technicians.

To this end, the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Prof. Charles Soludo, would be leading a wide range of experts among stakeholders to review tertiary institutions curricula to meet the manpower needs of the economy at a forum tomorrow in Abuja.

"There is a dearth of skilled labour in the areas of Science and Technology. Nigerians seem to have develop the tendency to go all out for university education to the detriment of technicians and middle level labour.

"Although the expansion in the schooling opportunities over the last two decades has procured more Nigerian graduates, paradoxically, the level of unemployment and poverty has risen, and the executive capacity to manage development programmes dwindled.

"The persistent problem of generalized human resource wastage in Nigeria, best captured by the two-faced crisis of poverty and unemployment has forced a rethink on the perspectives of education and training as the potent elixir to the crisis", he said. Besides, Mr. Anyanwu revealed that most Nigerian now flock management and administration courses, a situation he described as unhealthy for the economy, given the fact that today’s global economy is science and technology-driven.

The Soludo-led forum which comes up tomorrow, the ES said would reshape the way skills, competencies and professions are evolved for productive and competitive relevance.

Specific objectives of the forum, Mr. Anyanwu said would be to evolve a networking, incorporating the public and private sectors, international organizations and civil society in a manner that permits the maximum yields from human capital enterprise in Nigeria.

The forum would also seek an effective strategy to generate a comprehensive manpower data based on Labour Market Information System (LMIS) model.



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