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The Federal Government is to collaborate with states and the private sector to establish more technical colleges and vocation centres to bridge the gaps in the country’s manpower needs.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

According to Echono, some technical colleges and vocation centres are not meeting the demands of producing skilled persons in the relevant fields.

He said: “There is the need for us to fill the existing gaps.

“We have to improve quality in the mode of delivery and training and get them all relevant to the workplace and the industry.

“We are working toward establishing several technical colleges, vocational training, entrepreneurial and ICT centres, among others.

“Some of them will be by the private sector, but some by government both at the state and federal levels.”

Echono told NAN that the establishment would be made after the ministry would have done a comprehensive national survey on areas that had shortfall in manpower production.

According to him, the ministry is embarking on a national skills gap analysis that will enable it to find out requirements for each trade or profession.

He said: “For instance, we may need to find out how many teachers we need at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education, just as we will like to know how many doctors, engineers, architects and others.

“Then we go ahead to find out how many more of these professionals we need and how many institutions that are producing them.

“It is possible that we are even over-producing manpower in some professions, but in others, we may not have enough and are relying on outsiders to meet our needs.

“We intend to create conditions that will make it attractive for the private sector to take the lead in this.”

The official said governments would fill the gaps in the aspects which the private sector might not be interested in.

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