Minister of State for Works and Housing, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has emphasized the need for competent artisans in the real estate sector in order to   prevent building collapse in the country.

The minister made this attribution while speaking to members of the Construction Skills Training and Empowerment Project (C- STEMP) led by a former Minister of State for Health, Arc. Gabriel Yakubu Aduku, who paid a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.

Sambo pointed out  that one of the reasons for building collapse in the country has been attributed to the  use of unskilled artisans.

He praised the effort of C-STEMP in coming up with an initiative to fill what he described as a huge gap in the built environment and promised to support them.

“ It has been a huge gap in our industry, the construction industry like we all know requires skilled workers. I want to assure the delegation today that they should see us as their partner,” he said.

On the request by the delegation for the reconstitution of the Board of the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), the minister promised to discuss with the  Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and expressed confidence that it would be treated with priority attention.

Accordingly, Sambo reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to completing the affordable housing development scheme in Gwagwalada, Abuja, disclosing that funding would be made accessible to subscribers through the Federal Mortgage of Nigeria.

Describing the construction industry as large employer of labour, Sambo said: “Millions of Nigerians will be able to put food on their tables if we have a vibrant construction industry.”

Earlier, the Director General of the Organisation, Anthony A Okwa, informed the minister that C- STEMP was spurred by the Construction Ideas Fund (CIF) initiated in 2013 by Growth and Empowerment Scheme and the DFID to address the challenge of severe shortage of skilled manpower in the real estate sector.

He explained that C-STEMP which has the objective of breaking the paradox of high unemployment and poverty in the midst of severe shortage of skilled manpower in the construction industry, is the pioneer Construction Skills Training provider approved by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).

Accordingly, Okwa further said that the organisation had embarked on several training programmes at home and abroad to boost the supply of competent artisans and craftsmen.

He revealed that C- STEMP is currently working with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria, (CORBON) and the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) National Skills Qualification, NSQ, Framework through the provision of induction, training and assessment of practicing artisans towards attainment of competence certification in line with National Occupational Standards for construction trade.