The National Institute for Animal Science (NIAS) has embarked on moves to bridge the gap of inadequate graduates for livestock management in the country.
The Registrar of NIAS Professor Eustace Iyayi during a Validation of National Occupational Standard (NOS) for Poultry and Feed Mill Industry, lamented that the annual student admission and retention into tertiary institutions is inadequate.
He said the Institute, which is a regulatory body, is better positioned to ensure that Nigeria has adequate and skilled people in the livestock sector working along the value chain.
“The annual student admission and retention into Nigerian tertiary institutions is definitely inadequate to meet the skills required of the nation in general and for Animal Agriculture in particular.
“The paradox of high unemployment and huge skills gap in a highly youthful population is a policy nightmare that must be addressed through expanded skills development initiative and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
“This calls for an urgent need to revitalize and expand the provision of platforms for skills, vocations; acquisitions that will ensure the social and economic inclusion of these otherwise excluded but important demography and ensure their mainstreaming and contribution to the development of the nation.”
Professor Iyayi said NIAS has taken up this responsibility because it is part of its mandate by the law that established us in 2007, which was amended in 2015 to strengthen the mandate that the federal government gave to them.
“We have a serious gap in the livestock industry, we don’t have poultry mechanics, we also have a lack of skilled manpower in other value chains, in the feed mill, upstream poultry farm and downstream poultry farm.
“I think the challenge is going to be bigger as we begin to see a transformation in other livestock sectors, for example, cattle. If we are beginning to talk about ranching or sedentary production of cattle, there is going to be a huge gap in terms of technicians and skilled workers that will look after these animals,” he noted.
He said the exercise started in 2019 when NIAS first initiated it, then went to National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) in Kaduna and started with the poultry and feed mill curriculum.
“So as you can see that gradually it is growing into something big, this validation is going to help us so that we can use the materials that we are trying to develop for the betterment of our country’s economy.”
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NIAS moves to increase number of graduates for livestock management
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