Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
As part of efforts to minimise the effects of quackery in the building industry and to reduce the rate of building collapse, the Federal Government has commenced the training and certification of indigenous artisans.
Speaking at the induction of over 333 artisans who graduated from the training, yesterday, in Abuja, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said that it is in recognition of the importance of artisans that the government approved the Public Building Maintenance Policy.
This, he said, is to create avenue of profitable engagement for artisans such as plumbers, welders, electricians, painters, masons, tilers among others.
“A new department called Federal Public Assets Maintenance has been created in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to prioritise these building maintenance activities and keep the integrity of these public assets. It will equally interest you to know that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing operates nine engineering and building craft training schools nationwide for skill acquisition in engineering and building technology and conversion courses from craftsmen to works superintendent cadre” the Minister who was represented by the Director, Engineering Services, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Julius Okunola, said.
Earlier, the Acting Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute ( NBRRI), Professor Samson Duna had lamented the shortage of artisans in the country, saying that artisans from neighbouring countries such as Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana have been taking jobs that are ordinarily supposed to be carried out by Nigerian artisans.
This, he argued, is due to technical knowhow from neighbouring artisans as compared to their Nigerian counterparts.