The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) has empowered 45 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) with technical skills in different aspects of housing construction work.
The 45 beneficiaries, who currently reside at the IDP Camp in New Kuchingoro Abuja, on Tuesday graduated from a 2-months NMRC sponsored vocational training programme which was facilitated by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) using qualified building professionals and experts. NMRC also provided the graduates with relevant start-up tool kits in their respective fields of training to enable them to ply their new skills which are basically in masonry/tiling –plumbing as well as electrical installations.
The training course commenced in November last year as NMRC’s 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility and was designed to empower lives as well as contribute to efforts to redress the skills gap in the building industry in Nigeria, often cited as one of the key constraints to a robust housing market growth. Speaking at the closing ceremony to mark the graduation of the IDPs, NMRC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Charles Inyangete noted that the training program is part of NMRC’s strategic community outreach program designed to impact lives and contribute to solving problems in the housing construction sector.
Licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) IN 2015 to operate as a non-deposit taking financial institution, NMRC is a is a private sector driven mortgage liquidity facility with the primary purpose of developing the primary and secondary mortgage markets by raising long-term funds from the capital market, and thereby promoting home ownership in Nigeria.
“Today is a day of delight for me. NMRC is proud to have initiated this program and happy to note that the first batch of beneficiaries have graduated. We believe that they are now empowered with the right skill set to work as experts and earn a decent living for themselves and their families. We also know that by this, we are helping to reduce the skill deficit in the housing sector,” Inyangete stated.
“It is our plan to sustain this effort as our contribution to improving technical skills in the construction industry.”
Inyangete commended the management of the ITF for ensuring timely completion of the training program and also encouraged the beneficiaries to take pride in themselves and the skills they have acquired to take their lives to the next phase.
In her remarks at the event, the representative of the Director General/CEO, Industrial Training Fund, Evelyn Irabor, Director/Head of Training, ITF commended NMRC for the initiative to empower IDPs. She said that the training has given the beneficiaries the capacity to constructively participate in the rebuilding of their communities which have been destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Chii Akporji, NMRC’s Executive Director in charge of Policy, Strategy and Business Development and initiator of the programme expressed fulfilment that the two-pronged strategy of NMRC – to economically empower displaced persons and contribute to reducing the housing industry skill deficit – is now a reality. She re-stated NMRC’s commitment to progressing the training and impacting more lives.
In his response on behalf of the beneficiaries, Enoch Yohanna, the Camp Secretary expressed gratitude to NMRC for coming to their aid after their displacement from their homes by the Boko Haram crisis. He said that with the new skills in construction work the beneficiaries now have the capacity to take care of themselves, their families and become more responsible Nigerian citizens. He commended NMRC for their commitment to continuing the program so more IDPs can benefit.
It would be recalled that the spate of building collapses in the country is partly due to a worrying lack of qualified professionals in the housing construction sector.
The training program is NMRC’s strategic response to helping deal with the problem through structured and sustainable partnerships with relevant government agencies such as the Industrial Training Fund.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja