Wednesday, December 1, 2021

FG moves to establish National Metallurgical Training Institute

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A Bill seeking legal backing for the establishment of the National Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha, Anambra, passed second reading in the Senate on Wednesday.

This followed the presentation of the lead debate on the general principles of the Bill by Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi.

Presenting the Executive Bill, Mr Abdullahi noted that it was read for the first time on Sept. 15.

He said the establishment of the institute came after a feasibility study carried out in 1979 by the German Agency for Technical Cooperation.

According to the lawmaker, the German agency observed Nigeria’s lack of skills and technical manpower to maintain and run heavy mechanical and electrical equipment in the steel and oil and gas and manufacturing industries.

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He explained that the agreement between the German and Nigerian governments which preceded the establishment of the institute in 1980 required Germany to provide equipment and organise technical training for Nigerians.

The Nigerian government was to provide the physical infrastructure and the personnel to be trained, he added.

The lawmaker noted the institute would be responsible for the training of low and middle level technical manpower in maintenance and repair works for the steel and allied industries in Nigeria.

He added that it would create a pool of indigenous technical workforce that could erect, commission, operate and maintain steel industries, thereby reducing Nigeria’s dependence on foreign technical workforce.

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Mr Abdullahi stated further that the Metallurgical Institute undertakes training of skilled personnel already employed in the steel and allied industries.

“It will also offer advisory services to firms in the implementation of their training programmes, and provide jobs for youths through empowerment with appropriate skills and competences.

“The uniqueness of the institute is in its practical content.

“The establishment of the institute has greatly minimised the need to send Nigerians abroad for vocational training and skills acquisition as well as assisting in job creation for artisans, technicians and our teeming unemployed youths.

“In 40 years of its existence, the institute has trained many Nigerians from the six geopolitical zones of the country.

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“The institute was involved in the training of ex-militants of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme. This result was a huge success,’’ Mr Abdullahi said.

In his contribution, Sen. Uche Ekwunife (PDP-Anambra Central) drew the attention of the Senate that the institution ought to be sited at Obosi and not at Onitsha.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, however, advised the lawmaker to take up the matter with the appropriate authority seeking its establishment for consideration and possible correction at the public hearing on the Bill.

The Senate President referred the Bill to the Committee on Solid Minerals, Steel Development and Metallurgy, which was expected to report back in four weeks.


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