The Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, on Tuesday in Abuja described as unacceptable the recruitment of foreign labour by indigenous construction firms.
Onolememen spoke when he received Kashim Ali, the President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, in his office.
He said the development had left many Nigerian youths jobless.
Onolememen said the Ministry would collaborate with COREN to address the problem, adding that efforts were on to train youths to handle the jobs being done by their foreign counterparts.
He said the ministry was working towards curbing the act of employing foreign labour on construction sites in the country by training youths to do those jobs.
Onolememen said that to achieve the objective, the students industrial training programme in engineering skills would be enhanced as it was the key to the realisation of the transformation agenda.
He said that when the requisite manpower was trained, it would lead to the employment of millions of youths in the country.
To this end, the minister said that the Ministry had revived its training centres across the country to train enough technicians to fill the skill gap in construction sites in the country.
He said: “The dearth of skills in the country today cannot be explained; one begins to wonder what has happened to the engineering regulatory agencies in the country.
“When you walk the length and breadth of most of our project sites in this country, it is amazing to find out that skilled workers usually are sourced from other countries.
“As a government, we are determined to stamp out this and in doing that, we need to partner with COREN so as to find ways out of that quagmire because for us, it is totally unacceptable.”
The minister urged COREN to put adequate measures in place to check quackery in the profession as well as sanction erring engineers.
Earlier, Ali, the President of COREN, had said that one of the greatest challenges of the council was the issue of quacks in the profession.
Ali said that there was need for the council to establish its presence in all the states to curb quackery in the profession.
The president also said the council had not been carrying out its student industrial training scheme in engineering for the past 15 years due to lack of funds.
He appealed to the minister to allocate additional funds to the council so as to speed up its activities and to produce the required manpower to bridge the gap in craftsmen in the engineering sector.
He said: “I am appealing to the minister to make good his promise that all projects under the ministry would make provision for training component for young graduates.
“That way, we will have more able hands to handle the sector, this is the only way to sustain the implementation of government policies and build capacities of our youths.”