The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has said the exportation of drivers with required skills can be a major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.
Executive Secretary of NBTE, Prof. Idris Bugaje, stated this, at the public presentation of Articulated Vehicle Driving Qualification under the Nigeria Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) in Abuja.
According to Bugaje, skills exports are now foreign exchange earners in many countries, adding that Nigeria should not be left behind.
He said: “Truck drivers now have a chance to acquire certificates beyond the Drivers’ License Grade E, which would offer them work permits in Canada, UK and EU.
“Globalization and the new African free trade zone initiative are major drivers of this and if we don’t take advantage, our economy will suffer. Bangladesh in 2019 exported 2.5m skilled construction workers to the Middle East particularly Saudi Arabia. China, India and Morroco are other leading countries that export skills across the world.”
Bugaje added that skills have become the new global currency in employment and Nigerian vehicle driving training centres must take up this challenge.
He said the implementation of training on the National Occupation Standard (NOS) would assist in lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10years, which he said is the cardinal policy of the present administration.
The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi said Nigeria must take advantage of its population by exporting skills to other countries, thereby reducing poverty and terrorism.
According to him, it is high time the country begins to copy developed countries by focusing more on skill acquisition rather than paper qualification.
He said: “We have a population of about 203million Nigerians and Europe is lacking drivers. We should start exporting skilled personnel. In developed countries, it is not all about paper qualification, but skill acquisition.
He noted that as a fall out to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries, especially in Europe and North America had indicated gaps in availability of truck drivers. He therefore, said Nigerian youths must be trained and properly certified to seize the opportunities.