The project manager of the defunct Local Apprenticeship Skills (LAS) under the Special Projects and Programs Unit (SPPU) floated by the government of Murtala Nyako to empower Adamawa citizens with a wide range of vocational and technical skills, Alhaji Sani Jada has disclosed that the newly reopened Skills Acquisition Centers in the state may not function effectively due to some teething challenges.
In an exclusive interview with this medium, Jada noted that from the information at his disposal, the Adamawa State government did not carry out the necessary consultations before it reopened the centers as a result of which it may run into serious legal, machinery and man power constraints.
Jada noted that being at the center of the SPPU, he knew that Adamawa State government needs more than just rehabilitating the structures to revive the centers which became moribund after governor Murtala Nyako was impeached.
“When I heard that the state government has reopened the skills acquisition centers, I spoke with the Managing Director of PTS, the German company which constructed, equipped and operated the centers.
“The reason why I communicated with him is to find out whether the debts which Adamawa State government owes his company has been settled to which he said no. Before the government reopened the centers, it would have been appropriate to consult the company so as to resolve this grey area,” Jada said.
Jada noted that apart from that, there should be a comprehensive equipment verification to ascertain the availability, functionality and the conditions of the equipments needed for effective training.
“Renovation of building is one leg of reviving the centers. The other leg is equipping the center according to the initial vision of the founder.
“From the information I had, the government only touched the buildings. If the government really want to revive the centers, it should not only renovate the buildings but there should be equipment verification to ascertain availability and functionality of the tools. That is the only way the centers could be revived while the government make efforts to consult the management of the PTS,” he said.
Jada advised the government to as a matter of utmost importance bring back some of the sacked staff of the centers who got a top class training from the centers because they are conversant with the operations of the systems and machineries.
“There are graduates of the centers who were trained and employed by Nyako to train others. They were all sacked.
“It will be futile to think of reviving the centers without bringing those skilled personnel into the system. So the efforts of the government will not yield desired results if the whole thing is about renovating and bringing students to be taught. If you just bring teachers anyhow who do not understand the system and you didn’t carry out investigation on the integrity of the equipment, the program can’t deliver the desired results. Those issue have to be sorted out,” he said.
Jada also appealed to the government to give priority to some of the students of the centers who were affected by its closure following the impeachment of governor Murtala Nyako.
“There are students who were still in the schools when Nyako was impeached, they ought to be brought back to finish their studies,” he noted.
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has last week reopened the eight moribund technical skills acquisition centres built by the past administration of former governor Murtala Nyako.
Fintiri, who performed the ceremony in Girei Local Government Area, said the decision to put the centres into use was informed by the commitment of his administration to job creation.
He said the centres were expected to commence training with 2,700 unemployed youths in skills which include building and construction, carpentry and joinery, welding, tiles making, automobile mechanic, phone repair and furniture making.