The National Agency for Science and Infrastructure (NASENI) said the agency has trained 100 youth on the modern method of casting Plaster of Paris (PoP) in Nasarawa state.
Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Sani Harun, stated this, Monday, at the opening ceremony of NASAENI skill acquisition training and youth empowerment on modern methods of casting PoP and its application in Nasarawa state held in Gora, Karu local government area of the state.
He said the programme is in the first phase of North- central regional skill development by NASENI as part of the implementation of directives of President Muhammadu Buhari to the agency on the development of the capacity of Nigerian youth in various trades, to ensure skills acquisition for job creation and self-employment.
“The president has empowered NASENI to lead the nation to a manufacturing economy and undoubtedly this type of skill development is a key pre-requisite in the development of a competent workforce for Nigeria.
Prof. Haruna explained that over 70 percent of modern buildings now use PoP and hence the need for professionalism especially in the wake of reported collapses of some buildings across the nation.
“The ongoing skill development training and youth empowerment programme of the agency across the country is aimed at introducing modern and technological ways of carrying out already existing occupations and trades, in order to make practitioners more efficient and to enhance growth and sustainability.
The NASENI boss gave an account of the origin of the name ‘PoP’ and mentioned England’s King Henry III who visited Paris in 1254 and was so impressed by fine white walls finishing that he introduced similar plastering in England where it became known as Plaster of Paris.
Another account had it that the name PoP had its origins in the fact that it was extensively mined from Montmartre in Paris District.
He, therefore, said the application of PoP in the Nigerian built environment was probably introduced by the Togolese who came for greener pastures. They specialized in casting and molding of PoP into beautiful and appealing designs for ceilings, pillars, and exterior and interior decoration.
“Deployment of POP in modern buildings in residential, commercial, and public structures is now the norm and the practice has come to stay,” he said.