Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (2nd right) with the Chief of Staff, Mr. Lanre Babalola (right) being conducted round the brick laying practical section by the Chairman, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board, Mrs. Adeyinka Taiwo Oyemade Gasper (3rd left) during Governor Fashola’s inspection tour of the Lagos State Technical and Vocational College, Ikotun, Lagos, on Thursday, February 13, 2014.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Thursday inspected the State Technical and Vocational College,Ikotun, Waste Water Treatment Plant at Abesan and on-going work at the Ayobo-Ipaja road and Meiran road (Phase I), stating that his administration is instituting a maintenance culture along with commissioning new projects in order to advance a total service commitment.
The Governor who spoke with state house correspondents at the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Abesan added that it the quest to make old things work as new ones are added, a maintenance culture is instituted that will ensure that everything that government invests money in, works.
Speaking specifically on the workings of the Abesan Wastewater Treatment Plant which serves the Abesan Housing Estate, the Governor said the mechanical and electrical parts are at optimum condition and has been subjected to maintenance over the last few years by the Ministry of Environment.
“Where we have some difficulty now are the sewer networks from a few of the parts of the estate that we are trying to connect so that the waste water can come through directly for treatment and processing and this is the best that you can have anywhere in any part of the world”, he added.
He recollected that two years ago, the state’s team was at the Alausa Wastewater Treatment Plant which had broken down but had since been rehabilitated by the Government, adding that there are new ones coming up in places like Odo Iya- Alaro and a few of the new housing estates that are all going to have their own Wastewater Treatment plants.
“It is about fixing the old ones as you add new ones and improve total service delivery. Ultimately we will stop dumping our waste, waste water and sewage into the lagoon and river bodies and whatever goes out would be something that we have treated and cleaned up in line with global practices”, the Governor explained.
Also speaking about the State Technical and Vocational College, Ikotun which he inspected earlier with his entourage, Governor Fashola said contrary to what obtained in the recent past when quality artisans had to be sourced from neighbouring countries, the output being witnessed now is that people who leave the technical colleges are going straight to suitable employment.
He added that the state is producing to fit the demand in the employment market in a situation where the town and the gown is now talking, noting the Ikotun Technical College would become the centre for electronics and electrical engineering in due course.
Fashola recalled that a few years back there was a complaint that the country did not have people who could lay tiles and people who could do masonry and allied works which constituted a problem that the government had to deal with bearing in mind that it had five technical colleges.
He said part of the steps undertaken by the state government to address the problem were the setting up of the board of Technical and Vocational Education, reinstatement of the Council and the membership, whilst also leveraging on partnerships now locally.
“The City and Guild Exam is back, the students have started graduating, we have improved the learning environment, we are working with National Employers Consultative Assembly (NECA), we now have an Enterprise Day, the employers are now telling us ahead what kind of skills they need, they are also involved in designing the training and the courses”, he said.
He explained that the State also has partnership with large construction companies, who have sent instructors to the Technical College in Epe to impart their experience just as the one in Agidingbi is also up and running.
“The last one is in Ado Soba in Amuwo. We are working to dedicate that as a specialized College for deep sea welding, oil and gas welding so that our local people can acquire that skill also as we await the explosion of the oil and gas economy in terms of the development of the local content”, he stated.
The Governor also pointed to the new building that is being renovated on the premises of the Technical College at Ikotun, stating that it would be the state of the art laboratory and instructional location in partnership with Siemens.
He added that the products would be the workforce that would serve all the distribution companies who have bought Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s assets as they need people to fix meters, repair meters, install cables, install wires and transformers.
“That is the new workforce coming into an emerging industry clearly that we positioned ready to service and you would see where they are doing their block, having practical, you see the students painting their classrooms, the skills are now localized and so the days when they said it was Togolese, Republic of Benin people that are good, clearly, we are reversing that trend”, he explained.
The Governor was accompanied on the inspections by his Deputy, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, Special Adviser on Environment, Dr Taofeek Folami, Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba and was conducted round the Abesan Wastewater Treatment plant by the Co-ordinator of the Lagos State Waste Water Management Authority, Engineer Olalekan Shodeinde and the State Technical College at Ikotun by the Executive Secretary of Lagos State Technical and Vocational Educational Board (LASTVEB), Engineer Olawunmi Gasper.