The reason Dangote refinery hired 11,000 trained workers from India while ignoring young people from Nigeria and other African countries was because young people from Nigeria lacked the necessary abilities to do the task, Sub-Saharan African Skills and Apprenticeship Stakeholders Network said.
The Network said in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Ousman Sillah, following its two-day conference in Abuja that it had decided that each African nation should create a national framework for skill certification that would facilitate labour migration across the continent.
“The need for SASASNET to engage in vigorous public awareness and engagement to change the negative perception of the public on the value of skills and apprenticeship; the Dangote Refinery in Nigeria under construction has engaged over 11,000 workforce from India, while our youths lack the required skills to be engaged; Africa should avoid a repeat of the same in the upcoming $25 billion Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline traversing the Gulf of Guinea to Europe; the absence of National Occupational Standards in many countries.” the statement read.
The network pointed out that there are few chances for skilled labourers to migrate across African regions as a result of the lack of channels to recognise skills acquired in the informal sector in the majority of sub-Saharan African nations, including Nigeria.
Sillah also pointed out the poor connection between trade unions/associations and the development of skills and apprenticeships, as well as the bad social perception of skilled workers.
The Network made several recommendations for the future, including that each member country shall create its National Skills Qualifications Framework with suitable provisions for the informal sector; SSANET shall partner with World Skills to promote competitiveness and talent hunting among African youngsters.
It was also mentioned that Kenya will host the following General Assembly in 2024, while Nigeria would house the Network’s Secretariat.