The Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Mr Gbolahan Lawal says the state government will train 1,000 in 2018 under its Master Craftsman Project to tackle skill gap in the construction industry.
Lawal made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.
The commissioner said that the state government had a target of training 4,000 but had so far trained 170 due to funding constraints.
He said the training of 1,000 artisans would be through private sector collaboration in conjunction with other agencies of the state government.
“So far, we have trained 170 people; our focus is to train 4,000. Our target for 2018 is to train 1,000 people working with the private sector,” he said.
The commissioner said that the state had to move to bridge the skill gap because ageing skilled artisans were not being replaced.
He said the development was causing a vacuum, leading to Nigeria relying on foreign artisans.
Lawal listed the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) and Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment as some agencies supporting the training of the artisans.
“All the concerned agencies of government are working toward ensuring that we up scale the skills sector of our workmen so that we do not have to import jobs as we currently do.
“We are looking at working with the private sector and a couple of them have come to us.
“We want to see how we can co-fund the project because the deficit is huge in terms of craftsmen-people that we really want to give skills- but only government funds cannot do that,’’ he said.
He said the state government was filtering agencies in the private sector that signified intention to be part of the project.
According to the commissioner, the filtering is necessary to ensure that government partners with the right set of agencies in the sector.
“That is why we delayed but very soon, we would hit the ground running.”
The state government had in June 2016 inaugurated the Master Craftsman Project to bridge the skill gap in the construction and building industry through up to date training for artisans.