Abia government has commenced an intensive training on road maintenance for youths as part of its effort to boost the development of infrastructure in the state.
Mr Bob Ogu, the Commissioner for Works, said this on Thursday during the Abia Youth Road Maintenance Corps Orientation and Training Seminar which the state government organised in Umuahia.
Ogu said: “The world is in a state of flux as things are changing and every professional needs to change with the time.
“Everything is moving from analogue to digital, we believe in continuous education because basic training or certificate is not enough.
“We want to further train our staff and any member of the public that is interested in the programme to keep abreast with the new trends in the field of engineering.
“It is expected that participants would pass on the knowledge they acquire to their colleagues for overall enhanced performance of the Ministry of Works. This training is going to be regular.”
According to him, this would facilitate the achievement of success in the state government’s plans to fast track widespread socioeconomic development in Abia.
In his address, Mr Uzoma Onuoha, a resource person, said that attaching premium to maintenance culture, as well as health and safety in workplaces, encouraged improved workforce productivity.
Onuoha emphasised the need to imbibe maintenance culture, adding that it encompassed the provision of resources for the management of structures to prevent assets failure.
He said that health and safety in a workplace entailed getting competent personnel, acquiring the right equipment, providing adequate personal protective gear for workers and developing a viable work plan.
He said: “A lot of infrastructural projects collapse today because of poor supervision by the relevant authorities during the construction of such projects.
“The absence of supervision gives the project contractor the room to compromise with the specifications outlined for the job.
“It is pertinent for the government and private establishments to promote the culture of health and safety rules compliance in workplaces to ensure that the right thing is done.
“This will ensure that projects are adequately supervised and the job is done in line with the contract agreement signed for the job for the betterment of the society.”
Onuoha said that the importance of maintenance culture, as well as health and safety in a workplace, could be over-emphasised because of its centrality to the success of the projects.
Earlier, Programme Moderator, Christian Nwaehibe said that participants of the exercise had been drafted from the Ministry of Works and the 17 local government areas in Abia.
Nwaehibe added that the participants also included youths from across Abia who were engineers, surveyors and those in related disciplines.
He said they would be trained on modern road maintenance techniques.
Nwaehibe said that the state government was desirous of encouraging maintenance culture in the state because of its concern for safety and zero tolerance to potholes on Abia roads.
In separate interviews, some of the participants expressed delight over the opportunity given to them to improve their knowledge and skills for enhanced performance in their current duties.
Mr Emeka Nwankwo, a participant, said that the training would equip him with the right knowledge to function effectively as a site engineer.
Another participant, Mr Ikechukwu Alaohuru, expressed confidence that the programme would encourage improvement in workers productivity and appealed to the government to make it a regular event. (NAN)