The Sub-Saharan African Skills and Apprenticeship Stakeholders Network has explained why the Dangote refinery engaged 11,000 skilled workers from India while neglecting youths from Nigeria and other African countries.

The network, on Wednesday, noted that the reason for the neglect was that youths from Nigeria lacked the adequate skills needed to be engaged in the assignment.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its two-day meeting in Abuja, the Network noted that it had resolved that each country in Africa develop a national skills qualification framework that will enable ease of labour migration across the continent.

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The communiqué, which was released on Wednesday, was signed by the Secretary-General of the regional organisation, Ousman Sillah.

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In the communique, SASASNET noted that it observed, “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.”

It also fingered the negative social perception of skilled workers alongside the weak interface that exists between trade unions/associations and skills/apprenticeship development.