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Kalu Moves To Nationalise Igbo Apprenticeship System

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Hon. Benjamin Kalu who is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, has said he is considering moving a bill to institutionalise the Igbo system of apprenticeship as part of moves to address the dearth of skilled workers and unemployment in the country.

He stated that there was another law in the process to designate Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo as national languages.

Speaking in Abuja while playing host to the management team of Buildup Integrated Services led by its Chief Executive Officer, Chibuike Aguene, Kalu said the two bills were ultimately contemplated to give a legal framework to the idea of creating more skills and employment for the teeming unskilled youthful population.

A statement signed by Kalu’s Chief Press Secretary, Levinus Nwabughiogu, quoted the lawmaker as saying that the National Apprenticeship Scheme ‘is a technology-driven dual apprenticeship model designed by Buildup, to blend theoretical education with hands-on practical training.’

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Kalu lamented Nigeria’s huge population of unskilled youths, adding: “The apprenticeship system currently practised mostly in the South-East as ‘Igba-Boi’ where someone undergoes a training in a particular craft or vocation for an agreed number of years and later gets settled by his employer will be institutionalised  through a legislative intervention”

Kalu said, “An institutionalised dual apprenticeship system will act as a conduit, offering a real-world application of the skills acquired through theoretical education. It serves as the vital bridge that transforms academic knowledge into practical expertise, ensuring that individuals not only grasp theoretical concepts but also gain hands-on experience relevant to the demands of their chosen fields.”

The Deputy Speaker, who represents Bende Federal Constituency, Abia State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, further said the scheme conformed with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

He referenced countries like Germany and China with less emphasis on certificates, saying that they had impacted the world with more practicable skills.

“I would like to express my gratitude for your contributions to skills training, apprenticeship, and entrepreneurship development in Nigeria and the African continent as a whole.

“Your commitment to skills development and entrepreneurship aligns with our nation’s aspirations for economic growth, job creation, and empowerment of our youth.

“I applaud your organisation for working on this timely and nationally important National Apprenticeship Scheme.

“At the 10th House of Representatives, we anchor our legislative activities on the core principle of participatory governance. We are laser-focused on delivering a regulatory environment that only supports entrepreneurship development but also encourages commerce and facilitates the growth of the economy. It is in this vein that I acknowledge the calls for supporting legislation that institutionalises the newly designed National Apprenticeship Scheme.”

On the National Language Bill, the Deputy Speaker noted that many young Nigerians communicate better in their native dialect when learning a skill compared with reliance on the  English language alone.

While commending the group,  Kalu pledged his support to the initiative and promised to support 3,000 youth across the federation in the first phase of the apprenticeship system to be championed by Bildup Integrated Services.

On his part, the CEO of Buildup Integrated Services, Chibuike Aguene, called on the Deputy Speaker to throw his support behind a legislative intervention for the institutionalisation of a dual apprenticeship system in the country.

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