By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has expressed the commitment of the FCT Administration to partner the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) in advancement of various construction skills.
Aliyu gave this assurance when the leadership of the FOCI paid her a courtesy call to brief the Minister on the outcome of its 65th Annual General Meeting and the unveiling of FOCI Skills Academy, in Abuja.
He said the FCT Administration was conscious of the potentials in the construction industry and has in line with the presidential mandates to work with the private sector to create jobs, and contribute to the attainment of the objective of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
According to her: “the FCT Administration through the Youth Development Department of the Social Development Secretariat has trained youths in various viable economic skills at the FCT Youth Support Centre, Nyanya.
“We are in active collaboration with the African Union (ECOSSOC) to establish a youth outreach mini centre at the Social Development Secretariat, where young people can meet our social services experts to engage and discuss their problems for positive solution. I want to assure you that we shall work hard together to attract investments into this sector”.
The Minister also assured that the administration was leaving no stone unturned towards ensuring that skills and job creation are not encumbered with business support challenges, adding that the administration has strengthened the leading skills development agency, the Abuja Enterprise Agency, while the Youth Centre in Nyanya has been upgraded for skill acquisition training.
While commending the group for unveiling the skills academy in Abuja, the Minister noted that the academy was an attestation of FOCI drive to create job opportunities in the industry.
Earlier in her remarks, FOCI Director General, Engr. Olubunmi Adekoje, informed the minister that the Skills Academy was to provide a world class training in construction skills through training and certification of apprentices, up-skilling of artisans and craftsmen.
Adekoje, also revealed that the academy could train over 1,000 persons in various construction skills, stressing that the move could be one of the pathways for Nigeria to boost ongoing efforts at overcoming developmental obstacles in the pursuit of sustained inclusive growth.
She further opined that the Annual General Meeting of FOCI was a platform specially designed for and dedicated to protect the interests of member companies through advocacy and representation.