Three polytechnics in the country are to benefit from a £300 million (about N1.2bn) British Government aid under the Overseas Development Association (ODA) programme.
The money will be used in funding some research and training projects in the institutions, namely, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Kaduna Polytechnic (KADPOLY) and the Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Enugu.
The ODA programme – Polytechnic Maintenance Workshops programme (PMWP) – billed to run from 2020 to 2022, will begin in April 2020 with the training of some selected participants, mainly senior staff, from these institutions.
Max Lawrence, the programme’s coordinator, in an exclusive chat with BusinessDay said each of the three centres will have nine Nigerian tutors and four others from the United Kingdom (UK) to oversee the projects.
In addition, the Yaba and Enugu centres will be supervised by Ken Houghton, while the Kaduna centre will be manned by George Edwards.
According to Lawrence, the need for a series of specialist maintenance courses for senior staff of polytechnics and colleges of technology was emphasised by the Education Ministry to ODA advice in 2014.
Consequently, in February 2015, he said two representatives from the North East Wales Institute visited Nigeria and following observations made and information gathered, the present series of workshops were approved.
Before the completion of the projects in 2022, it is expected that each centre would have produced no fewer than 35 consultants in the different courses to be undertaken during the programme.
The three-year project will run in three phases in each institution. At YABATECH, the first phase which takes off between April/May 2020 will undertake such courses as electronics servicing, engineering machine shops and electrical power installation.
The second phase which starts in April/May 2021 will deal with such courses as physics/electronics, laboratory technology and digital electronics, while the third phase, in January/February 2022, will cater for automotive engineering, printing and welding.
At KADPOLY, the project will take off between August and September 2020 with such courses as engineering machine shops, wood machinery and electrical power installation.
However, in its second phase, machine shops, civil engineering laboratories and electrical servicing will be pursued between January and February 2021.
Laboratory technology, civil engineering and building technology as well as agricultural engineering will be undertaken between September and October 2022.
At IMT, the first phase in November/December 2020 will cover engineering machine shops, electronic servicing and mechanical engineering workshops, while the second phase will cater for electrical power installation, control engineering and aviation. It will take off June/July 2021.
The third phase which starts in November/December 2022, will have such courses as laboratory technology, chemical plant engineering and microprocessor engineering.
Also non-existent in the polytechnics are base maps, which are generally typographical maps to provide information on the artificial and natural features of the environment, which are very necessary tools for effective planning.
They also provide basic details for the compilation of materials for evolving land information or geographical information systems. It was gathered that they were either not available or obsolete.
According to a ministry source, up to date base maps are essential tools for monitoring environmental disaster, planning and location of social amenities.