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By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA

THE federal government has called on the management of technical colleges in the country to prioritize environmental and social safeguard so as to enhance effective implementation of the World Bank-assisted innovation and skills acquisition project in Nigeria.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, gave the charge at a Workshop on Environmental and Social Safeguard Screening and other preliminary activities for Technical Colleges Implementing Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) Project, held in Abuja.

Adamu noted that environmental and social management was critical for effectiveness and sustainability of the project in line with the Nigerian environmental policies and the World Bank’s environmental and social policy.

He said: “As important as developmental and expansionist projects are for human development, what is of equal importance for consideration
is ensuring environmental and human protection in the process of executing projects”.

Açcording to him,”In a bid to ensure effectiveness and sustainability, the project has prioritized environmental and social management in-line with the Nigerian environmental policies and the World Bank’s environmental and social policy.”

“The environmental and social screening of sub-project marks the beginning of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) or Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) processes”

“In view of this all Environmental and Social Officers (ESOs), Project Managers (PMs) of the participating Technical Colleges needs to be trained on how to carry out environmental and social screening of sub Projects in the Colleges using screening checklist provided for in the Evaluating Solution in Management Facilities (ESMF). The essence of the IDEAS Project is to address the current deficiencies in the Education system that has made a large number of school leavers’ unemployed, urging Nigerian youths to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the project”,he added.

An estimated 40 technical colleges in the country, alongside the private sector would benefit from the project which also has a technical teacher training component.

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