Technology Company, General Electric, has restated its commitment to building human capital capacity and skills needed to transform the Nigerian economy from consumption driven to a productive one.
The firm stated this on the occasion to mark its one year of skill building programme in Nigeria, through its Garage – a hub for advanced manufacturing-based innovations, strategy development, idea generation and collaborations.
Speaking at the event which also witnessed the official release of the firm’s White Paper titled: “The Future Work in Nigeria-Bridging the Skill Gap,” President/Chief Executive Officer of GE, Lazarus Angbazo, stated that the Nigerian economy has got to a level where it should focus more on promoting innovations and skilled labour, adding that the skills of a nation’s citizens would determine the quality of its infrastructure and speed of advancement.
He pointed out that Nigeria still wallowed in the skills gap, where there were weak connections between school training and what’s obtainable in the market.
The firm disclosed that it has so far trained over 140 Nigerian entrepreneurs on advanced manufacturing and business development which was a testament to its commitment to meeting critical needs and filling the skills gaps domestically and globally.
Speaking on the paper which practically mirrors the skills gaps and its impact in key industry sectors as well as ways to address the gaps, Angbazo regretted that a larger percentage of Nigerian youths run after social science courses while about 13.24% of them target science and technical courses which manufacture innovations. He said, “Skill gap is visible in virtually all sectors of business including health, power, engineering, transportation and others. To address this, Nigeria needs a serious reorientation towards the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).”
Addressing the gathering, the Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creations and Employment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti agreed that building entrepreneurial spirit would stir the Nigerian economy to improve its competitiveness in the global economy.
While commending the GE initiative, he said that Lagos State recognised the value in skills building, hence its partnership with the private sector including GE Garage to tackle joblessness and improve its economy.
He thus urged the students of the Garage not to stop being creative but improve on their talents to meet up with the demands of the 21st century global village.
Graduate from the Garage who are now top innovators and manufacturers also shared their experiences on how they realised their dreams from the GE programmes as well as encounter in the market.
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