The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Prof. Mohammad Haruna, has said the agency is training Nigerian youths in cutting-edge technologies to prepare them for the fourth industrial revolution.
He said since the world was shifting to automation remote sensing, remote control and wireless operation, Nigerians could not be left behind.
Haruna said Nigerian professionals and artisans need regular update of skills to remain relevant, get employment, remain employed or even create jobs for others.
According to a statement, Haruna spoke at the opening of NASENI skill acquisition training and youth empowerment programme for 100 candidates in Ilaro, Ogun State.
The EVC, who was represented by NASENI’s Coordinating Director, Finance and Account, Alh. Ibrahim Dauda, said Ogun State was chosen because of its location and industrial corridor for innovations.
He said the state also shares borders with Lagos which is West Africa’s most populous productive and manufacturing centre.
The world was fast changing and Nigerian youths ought to be part of the fast pace, he said.
He said, “Development in cutting-edge technologies or frontier technologies are the innovations that are shaping the fourth industrial revolution. They are no doubt disrupting many things and introducing constant changes and standards.
“These technologies include Artificial Intelligence; Robotics; the Internet of Things; Big data; Blockchain; Additive manufacturing (3D Printing); Autonomous vehicles; Unmanned aerial vehicles, Gene editing; 5G network; and even smart grid and agitations for wireless electricity. Every aspect of human endeavour, agriculture, health, industry, transports, hospitality and others require electricity albeit well-advanced electric energy.”
He added, “Therefore, electrical installation, repairs and maintenance will no longer be metre conduiting, piping or trunking of cable channel and streaming overhead conductors only. It is beyond the provision of lighting points and socket outlets.
“Rather it is about automation remote sensing, remote control and wireless operation. The practitioners’ knowledge needs either a regular update to remain relevant and be able to get employment, remain employed or even create jobs for others.”
In his remarks, the National Vice President of the Licensed Electrical Contractors Association of Nigeria, Yinka Akintomide, urged the participants to make use of the knowledge and tools given to them by the organisers of the training.
“Some people call you roadside electricians, but you will prove them wrong with this training you are getting here today.” he said.
The Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbele appealed to the beneficiaries not to sell the working tools given to them.
A former Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaja Salimot Badru, said lack of required skills had made youths to lose jobs to foreigners.
Also, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, said the programme was a product of the executive-legislative collaboration aimed at building cognate capacities and improvement in skill of the youths in the energy sector.
Adeola who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Kayode Odunaro, said the training was an addition to his “numerous facilitations of various skills acquisition training and empowerment that had over 10,000 beneficiaries across Lagos and Ogun State.”
He said: “This presidential initiative through /NASENI is a veritable way of creating a pool of skilled professionals that would not only be gainfully employed but have potential to equally generate employment for others in due course.
“The other benefits of the programme beyond employment are curbing youth restiveness and other vices that crop up with youth idleness and disenchantments.”