Role of Technical and Vocational Training in Nigeria

In the effort of finding a nexus between technological development and economic growth Reikard wonders whether investment in technology will boost the growth rate. Reikard analyzing the America’s case observed that though the looser fiscal and monetary policies successfully stimulated a recovery from the 2008–2009 recession, there was need to increase the rate of technological advancement in order to propel the economy into a more lasting expansionary phase.

In Nigeria, it took the federal government a resolute effort to initiate several commissions to study the problem of quality manpower.  The unemployment of youths and persistent out –cry on the declining quality of products offered by government officials and industries led to the initiative. It was also noted that strategic positions in several industries were occupied by foreigners.

The reports from the commissions highlighted the need to promote vocational and technical education in order close the technological gap.  The role of technology in economic growth perhaps resonates with Obama’s views on “winning the future”. He believes that winning the future is achievable through investment in research, development, and technology.

Through the work of the commissions a new National policy on Education which gave a greater emphasis to vocational and technical training was born. This led to the establishment of several Federal Universities of Technology, Federal Polytechnics, Federal Colleges of Education, Technical and Vocational Schools and Colleges.

Despite these efforts Ozoro observes that Vocational and Technical Education in Nigeria has remained inadequate, unplanned, uncoordinated and to a considerable extent irrelevant to the societal needs.

Several questions beg answers. Has Nigeria’s economy experienced growth based on technological development? Are there more jobs created out of such strategic initiatives such as the one for promoting vocational and technical training?

Quoting the guardian probably provides a platform to reflection:

The stampedes late on Saturday show the desperation for jobs in Africa’s second biggest economy and most populous nation, where oil wealth has enriched elites and helped the economy grow by more than 6% a year but has failed to create employment.

From the data reviewed it evident that there is need to re-evaluate the strategies applied in enhancing technological education and thereafter opportunities which will create employment and sustainable economic growth for the country. It is an approach that goes beyond over reliance on natural resources such as oil which decline with every barrel that goes to the market.  Enemali perhaps says it all: “Manpower is the basic resource; it is the indispensable means of converting other resources to mankind?s use and benefit”. How well we improve the quality of our vocational education programmes, develop and employ human skills is fundamental in deciding how much we will accomplish as a nation.

 References

Atsumbe, B.N. (2010). Technology Education a veritable tool for poverty alleviation. A paper Presented at the 1st Faculty of science National conference of University of Abuja. FCT.18th – 20th January.

Enemali, J.D (2006). Strategies for Effective Management of technical colleges in Northern Nigeria. Spectrum Journal. 2 (2) 13 -19.

Federal Republic of Nigeria, (2004). National policy on Education. Federal Ministry of Education, printing division Lagos.

Ozoro, P.A. (2007). Vocational Education in Nigeria; Issues and Analysis. Obosi,Ngeria pacific pulishers.

Reikard, G. (2011, March 1). Stimulating Economic Growth Through Technological Advance. AMSTATNEWS. Retrieved from http://magazine.amstat.org/blog/2011/03/01/econgrowthmar11/.

Reuters Abuja (2014, March 16). Nigerian stampedes for government jobs kill at least 16 across country. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/16/nigerian-stadium-stampede-seven-dead.




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