A British education company has been selected to establish a college for hi-tech construction skills in Nigeria, the first of its kind in Africa, officials say.
The so-called Royal Academy for Construction and Fabrication in the city of Calabar, Cross River State, will develop a "workforce that is skilful and intellectually equipped for the 21st century construction and fabrication," said state Governor Ben Ayade (pictured), announcing the plan on 24 February.
Delivering the college is the London-headquartered education management firm, SchoolsCompany Ltd, which currently manages a number of free schools and academies in England.
"The Royal Academy will be the first of its kind in Africa that will focus mainly on hi-tech and heavy industrial fabrications and constructions," said Governor Ayade, reports newspaper The Nation.
"This is the greatest thing that Cross Riverians have been waiting for because it is going to develop a new set of workforce that is skilful and intellectually equipped for the 21st century construction and fabrication," Ayade said.
He added: "By setting up this great institution, Cross River State is preparing a background that will create a new story and a new narrative for the new Africa that all will be proud of," assuring that, "in the next few years, the state shall be the leading light in construction."
Elias Achilleos, chief executive of SchoolsCompany, said the design of the new college would follw UK standards.
"This is a great project to the people of Nigeria and Calabar in particular," he said, reports The Nation, "and I sue for support from all the stakeholders for the successful implementation of these projects that will turn out the very best in construction and fabrication works for this country."
The goal, he said, was to have the academy up and running "with the best equipment and best trainers" in the next 18 months.
Image: Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade (www.senatorbenayade.org)