Successful execution of the NIIMP will be hindered by a capability gap that is likely to increase when investment picks up (e.g., Nigeria currently has 35 per cent fewer power technicians/engineers than it needs, and by 2020 the number of engineers/technicians required will double from current levels).
Nigeria will need an increased number of trained workers in two areas.
First, Nigeria will need about 600,000 additional construction workers over the next five years to build and maintain the current and new infrastructure. This includes training for jobs like site workers, plumbers and engineers. Second, Nigeria will need to train 7.7 million additional people in the next 5 years to operate its required infrastructure. This includes training for jobs like doctors, nurses, policemen, farmers, etc.
Nigeria will need to follow a targeted approach to address this skills gap so as to build and operate the NIIMP infrastructure.
The immediate priority is to ensure sufficient capacity to build the required infrastructure. This should be accomplished by:
■ Building basic skills at scale – Focus on scaling up the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to develop the required volumes of workers with basic skills and engaging local institutes and private companies co-ordinated through the ITF. Establish programmes to develop the skills of the currently unemployed to build a basic workforce. Consideration will need to be given to the opportunity to utilise local skill development centres in tertiary institutions for a broad-based skill development outcome;
■ Ensuring skills transfer –Incentivise the Nigerian Diaspora to return, import specialised and technical skills and ensure the necessary skills transfer takes place through clear contractual agreements for apprenticeship, training, etc.
In the medium-term the priority should be to build Nigeria’s local skill base and ensure appropriate standards, by:
■ Establishing strong standards – Introduce international certification standards per sector, regulated and enforced by the ITF and provide additional training programmes to allow experienced workers to acquire certification;
■ Building advanced/specialised skills – Increase the capacity and quality of current institutions to train the necessary number of engineers, architects, etc.
The actions to develop human capacity for building, maintaining and operating infrastructure should be considered in the context of broader reforms within the education system further elaborated in section 6.4.
6.4 Requirements for Educational system
The Ministry of Education has also elaborated a broader set of improvements needed in the education system, beyond building physical infrastructure (as highlighted in Section 3.6) and the requirement for development of people to construct, maintain and operate infrastructure (as highlighted in Section 7.2.3).
The objective main for Nigeria is to have a sound and functional educational system that produces high-quality human capital, that is globally competitive, culturally, scientifically and technologically, creative and innovative, and capable of contributing towards national development.
To achieve this objective, the education system needs improved access and equity, standards and quality assurance, adequate infrastructure, teacher quality and development, curriculum relevance, adequate funding, transparent management, and reliable data for strategic planning and development. It also needs a more inclusive approach to education delivery in order to be more functional and responsive to nation’s economy, as an enabler to all aspects of the NIIMP and for socio-economic development of the country.
For each of these areas, targets have been defined as follows:
■ Access and equity – increase access and equity to 90 per cent for basic education, 70 per cent for post-basic education, 40 per cent for tertiary education by the year 2023:
– Include totally excluded groups such as the Albinos, Almajiri, children with special needs, the Nomadic, the migrant fisher folks, the adult illiterate and reduce share of children who are currently out of school to 5 per cent;
– Carry out high-level advocacy visits to the 20 states with high gender disparity by 2015;
– Ensure that ODL providers comply with NUC standard to increase carrying capacity of the Nigerian University to 50 per cent;
– Strengthen and expand Open and Distance Learning (ODL) systems in polytechnics and colleges of education by 50 per cent;
– Increase awareness and support for alternative route to higher education through Innovation Enterprise Instruction (IEIs);
– Encourage the adoption and entrenchment of e-learning across the 3 levels of education.
■ Standards and quality assurance – Establish international best practice performance benchmarks to assess educational performance, e.g., employability of students, by the year 2023;
■ Adequate infrastructure – Rehabilitate, reconstruct and develop infrastructure facilities of the existing structures in the basic education, post-basic education and tertiary education, including:
– Expand the existing infrastructure/facilities;
– Provide and update libraries, laboratories, classrooms, shops, sporting facilities in 90 per cent of the schools and institutions by 2023;
– Construct ICT laboratories, virtual libraries and promote e-learning in all the existing schools by year 2023;
– Improve the dearth of accommodation, toilets and health-related facilities.
■ Teacher quality and development
– Establish more teacher training colleges/institutions in all the 109 senatorial zones for increased access to training and retraining of teachers nationwide;
– Embark on development programme for pre- and post-service staff in colleges and institutions of education;
– Provide robust motivation/incentive system including housing, transportation, honours.
■ Curriculum relevance
– Draft and put in place school curriculum to integrate the curriculum of special needs children, and the inclusion of popular foreign languages; such as Arabic, French etc,
– Establish and equip guidance and counselling units in all schools across the levels of education;
– Review and enrich the existing school curricula.
■ Adequate funding – Attain the recommended UNESCO funding level by 2023 and collaborate with the Organized Private Sector in the financing of education.
■ Transparent management
– Review the National Policy on Education to include special needs education and out-of-school programmes towards a more inclusive education approach in line with international best practices;
– Introduce Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a means of communicating under the education sub-sectors and agencies for enhanced management and administration at the national and state level;
– Develop/review framework for national systems in guidance and counselling, monitoring learning achievements, teacher needs/professional development and quality assurance mechanisms.
■ Reliable data for strategic planning and development-
Education institution and managers at all levels could provide adequate statistics to assist in education planning and policy formulation.