By; VICTOR DURUAMAKU, Owerri
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has on Wednesday concluded the second
phase of the women skills empowerment programme (WOSEP) in Owerri, Imo
In an address at the occasion, the Director-General/Chief Executive of
the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Sir, Joseph N. Ari explained that
the programme was targeted at vulnerable and unemployed women in the
He further explained that the programme was one of the several
strategies and initiatives captured in the fund’s review vision,
pointing out that the strategies were for mandate actualization, which
was introduced in the year 2016 as part of the accelerated efforts to
equip as many Nigerians as possible with skills for employability and
entrepreneurship in line with the federal government’s policy on
job/wealth creation and poverty reduction.
The Director-General, revealed that according to the unemployment
statistics for the fourth quarter of 2016, women suffer an unfair
proportion of unemployment and underemployment when compared to their
According to him, the survey showed that 16.3 percent of women in the
labour force were unemployed while 24.2 percent of women in the labour
force were underemployed.
He added that, amongst the men, the survey showed that 12.3 percent
were unemployed while 17.9 of males in the labour force were
Mr. Ari, also noted that women do not fare better in most spheres,
believing that they suffer an unfair amount of poverty, and are over
dependent on others and also are denied opportunities that are
available to men in the country.
He explained further that it was with a view of equipping them with
skills for employability that the ITF, conceived the women skills
The Director –General said that the programme is intended to provide
skills to support the federal government industrialization policy and
to provide women with entrepreneurial skills for self reliance.
Speaking earlier, the Owerri area manager ITF, Mr Simon Ogbonna, said
that the programme, is part of the ITF mandate and initiative of a
policy directive from federal ministry of industry, trade and
According to him, this is a response to skill shortages identified
through studies, pointing out that the studies revealed dire skills
shortages in all sectors of the Nigerian economy, especially in
skilled entrepreneurial work force for small and medium enterprises
(SME’s) in areas where there are competitive and comparative
He explained that the thrust of the programme, therefore is to shore
up the skills shortages by building capacityof the women so that they
can be employed by others or be self employed.