New NOS will boost micro businesses — Minister

Nigeria's Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, said the new National Occupational Standard (NOS) would help improve the technical capacity of auto engineers as well boost micro businesses.

Abubakar told newsmen in Abuja that the framework was one that had the capacity to create jobs for Nigerian youths.

She said “The framework is something that will create a platform for our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises ( MSME) to develop capacities.

“Skills are one thing we do not have adequate capacity; this, we will provide the best skills of international standards to Nigerians’’.

Abubakar said the framework was aimed at enthroning competency-based technical vocational training in Nigeria.

The Federal Government unveiled the new framework that was in line with international best practices to drive the development of the auto industry.

It contained the curriculum for the development of technical skills of auto engineers.
Mr Jelani Aliyu, the Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) said the framework would enthrone and institutionalise competency-based Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Nigeria.

Aliyu said that the council’s mandate was to ensure survival, growth and integrate the development of the automotive industry in Nigerian. He said added that some years back, the council conducted a skill gap analysis of auto technicians and saw the need to develop a modular curriculum to train auto technicians in the country.

According to him, the curriculum has now been integrated in the NOS which is in line with the National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF).

Aliyu said that the curriculum had been approved by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for training and certification in the auto industry.

“The framework, when fully operational, will place out-of-school children, working adults, graduates and apprentices at both formal and non-formal setting in their rightful positions as far as skill acquisition and competency is concerned.

“The framework is a system designed for the development, classification and recognition of skills, knowledge and competencies acquired by individuals, irrespective of where and how the skill was acquired,’’ he said.

Aliyu said that for NOS to be used for training of learners in the auto sector, it was imperative that they were classified into Qualification Credit Framework of levels.
He said the curriculum had been updated and developed up to level five.

Mr Aminu Jalal, former Director General of the council, said NOS was to modernise and update the teaching of automotive mechanics to enable them to understand and repair modern vehicles.

Jalal said the automotive industry had been involved with the development of mechatronics.

He explained that mechatronics was coined from the words mechanical and electronics in 1969 and refers to the combination of mechanics, electronics, computing, optics and control engineering to produce simpler, reliable and versatile systems.

“The main push for including mechatronic system in vehicles is to increase fuel efficiency, reduce exhaust pollution and increase the safety and comfort of its occupants,’’ Jalal said.

He said that the training of mechanics in Nigeria had not kept pace with development in the automotive industry, as the curriculum used for the Federal Trade Test for automobiles dated from the 1960s.

According to him, the council therefore decided to develop a new curriculum, starting with a nationwide survey of the mechanics skill in 2008.

“The finding of the study show that 80 per cent of the skill deficiencies of the Nigeria auto-technicians hinges mainly on the electrical/electronic systems of vehicles.

“Twenty per cent are on incorrect work methods, safety and environment and poor workshop management and organisation ability,’’ he said.
Jalal said the curriculum had been in use since 2010 and was applied to train over 5,000 mechanics. (NAN)

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