FG blames A’ Ibom for ignoring Trade Test certificates

By Isaac Job, Uyo

The federal government has attributed the poor response to Trade Test certificates in Akwa Ibom state to lack of awareness and enlightenment across Technical colleges and Artisans by the state ministry of education.

Trade Test Certificates are issued by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to Artisans with various skills and trades relevant to the oil and gas Industries.

Speaking with newsmen in Uyo on Monday, the Chief Skills Development and Certification Officer in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment Engr Uko Frank (Masters)observed that many youths in Akwa Ibom state who are clamouring for employment do not possess the required trade test certificates to authenticate their skills.

Frank an indigene of Akwa Ibom said he had issued trade test certificate to Artisans in the Northern states but recently posted to the state regretted that the state Education Ministry has ignored Trade Test certificates which adds value to skills acquired by Artisans.

“I have moved around Nigeria and discovered that some people have benefitted more than us. We have been issuing Trade Test certificates to several artisans. Anything you don’t know is because you don’t have awareness.

“This is the only opportunity I have in my place to issue these Certificates to my people who are artisans. But I discovered that my people don’t even know the importance of Trade Test certificates.

” They are supposed to scramble for the certificate because we have the oil, all the parastatals and other things happening in Akwa Ibom.

” I observed that many people are trained in different skills. After graduation, the person is issued Testimonial instead of approaching the federal Ministry of Labour to obtain the Trade Test certificates. we should change this orientation.”

Frank recalled that trade test certificates started in 1946 shortly after the second world war and have been used to certify qualified artisans in various trades.

” The white colonial masters thought it wise to utilize skills acquired by the people who were affected by the war through labour engagement in the government system

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” They enrolled in Public Work Department popularly known as PWD in Lagos and other cities.”

He regretted that the Akwa Ibom state government through the Ministry of Education had not done any awareness to promote trade test certificates both in government Technical Colleges and among the artisans who have acquired skills in different fields.

“Akwa Ibom state government introduced free and compulsory education programme but only pay WAEC and NABTEB fees while students pursuing skills in Technical Colleges are neglected as the government could not pay for Trade Test certificates.

“Trade Test certificate is the bedrock for the technical environment but now abandoned by the government.”

Frank said the trainees at “Dakadda” skill acquisition centre at Ikot Adaidem in Itu council area should be encouraged by government to acquire trade test certificates to back their skills.

When contacted, the state commissioner for education Mrs Idongesit Etiebet could not respond to calls and WhatsApp messages to explain government’s position on the matter.

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