NOTAP moves to partner with DANGOTE to address shortage of skilled manpower in Nigeria

The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) is on the verge of concluding arrangement with the DANGOTE group of companies to improve the number of skilled manpower in Nigeria to ensure a speedy transfer of foreign technologies in the Cement sector.

The Director General of NOTAP, Engr. Umar Buba Bindir disclosed this when he lead a delegation of some technical staff of NOTAP on monitoring visit to OBAJANA Cement Company in Lokoja, Kogi state recently.

He said Nigerian Scientists and Technologists have suffered acute unemployment due to lack of the needed technical skills required by industries to sustain the development of business activities in the country.

Engr. Bindir further reiterated that time has come when the curriculum of tertiary institution is redesigned to be tailored towards industry requirements by exposing students more to practical and technical subjects of their chosen professions rather than perpetuating them to theoretical knowledge.

The DG also used the opportunity to call on companies and multinational to channel their community development programme towards development of a critical mass of highly developed manpower skills, adding that training of Nigerians up to PhD levels and attaching them to industries during training would enhance their entrepreneurial skills.
The DG regretted that the major source of economic sustainability of Nigeria since independence remains oil while developed countries like Japan, Canada, and China etc, have gone far in the area of technology development which has globally proved to be the sure way to sustenance.

He observed that DANGOTE Cement is not linked to Research Institutions, Universities and Collages of Technologies where R&D results capable of improving the technology drive of the country is supposed to originate from.

He added that Nigerians will continue to be high consumers of foreign technology if the indigenous companies are not making efforts to ensure the domestication of technology. “While it is a good idea to establish a Cement academy to achieve capacity building in your company, it is also paramount not to confined them to industries alone but also to acquire the entrepreneurial capacity that will trigger the national development.

He thanked the management of OBAJANA for allotting up 80 percent employment space to Nigerians in the company, but frowned at the fact that those employed are mostly not skilled enough to effectively transfer the technology needed for Nigerians development.

The DG said his Office is establishing NOTAP Research Industry Funds (NIREF) to develop very highly skilled manpower that can be employed in industry in Nigeria. He therefore solicited the support and commitment of DAGOTE group to actualize the project.

The General Manager, Project Management of DANGOTE, Mr. P.R. Anil said DANGOTE being an indigenous company is ready and committed to capacity building of Nigerians and will gladly collaborate with NOTAP in achieving NIREF.
He said the company has started demonstrating its interest at capacity building by establishing an academy on Cement to train about one hundred staff to become professionals in Cement production. He added that some of these professionals are retained in the company after their training, while some join other companies of their choice.
Mr. Anil said DAGOTE group is the highest employer of labour in Nigeria and the highest Cement supply in the country with the Annual production capacity of five million tones.
The manager stated that the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria and South Africa are the highest in the continent, adding that Nigerian GDP will be competing favorably with the developed world when the line three of OBAJANA Cement Company is fully operational.
He therefore thanked NOTAP for her impressive presentation on her various programmes in ensuring that Nigeria becomes a major player in the area of technology development rather than a spectator.

Raymond Onyenezi Ogbu
For Head Public Relations Unit (NOTAP)