By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Director General/Chief Executive of the Industrial Training Fund, Sir Joseph Ari on Thursday hinted that ITF has trained over 20 million Nigerians that are today manning key sectors of the National economy.
Sir Ari dropped this hint in Ibadan at a Press Briefing/Retainership Exploratory Interface with the Oyo and Osun States Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) .
Speaking through the Area Manager of Ibadan ITF Area Office, Mrs Olufunke Olorunleke, Sir Ari specifically said ITF through in its intervention programmes have trained about 300,000 Nigerian youths.
According to the ITF Director General/ Chief Executive, without mincing words, ITF has continued to contribute immensely to employment of Nigerian youths.
“ITF has trained over 20 million Nigerians that are today manning key sectors of the National economy from our skills intervention programmes which are accessible to all Nigerians particularly the youth, to our tailor made-skills acquisition and other direct training service that are implemented by our four Industrial Skill Training Centers (ISTC) and 38 Area office nationwide”.he said.
Emphasizing that tackling unemployment in Nigeria through skills acquisition can not and should not be viewed as the sole responsibility of the ITF and other agencies of the Federal Government alone, he stressed the need for state governments and other stakeholders to also contribute their own quota to eradicate unemployment in Nigeria.
While calling on States Government and other stakeholders to give enough support to ITF so that unemployment can be eradicate in Nigeria, the ITF boss maintained that ITF interaction with the media will provide a veritable opportunity to keep stakeholders and states government abreast of their activities and programmes using the media powerful tool for information dissemination because the media have played a critical role in facilitating and driving the achievements of the mandate of the Industrial Training Fund.
“The ITF was established on the 8th of October,1971 by decree no. 47, as amended in 2011 with the mandate to among others provide, promote and encourage the acquisition of skills in industry and commerce with a view to generating a pool of indigenous trained manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the private and public sectors of the economy”.
Speaking further, Sir Ari solicited the cooperation and collaboration from all state governments, the organises private sector, politicians and other stakeholders as solution to unemployment in the country, saying, ITF ” is open for collaboration in any aspect of human capacity development and vocational and technical skills training.”
The ITF added that state governments and other stakeholders should sponsor additional trainee for skills acquisition programmes by payment of monthly stipend of trainees, payment of master craftsmen allowance and provision of start-up kits for the trainees, adding that, ITF have proved invaluable in sensitising Nigerians on its current efforts and that of the Federal Government to create job, reduce poverty and grow the national economy through accelerated skills acquisition
Butressing this, the ITF Director General/ Chief Executive disclosed that 450,000 Nigerians are earning sustainable livelihood as paid employees or as entrepreneur that are even employing others, after two years of the implementation of the ITF review vision 2016-2022.
“Our fund re-articulated and refocused its activities with greater emphasis on skills acquisition in order to create jobs to reduce unemployment and breed a new generation of entrepreneur in order to transform the economic landscape of the country”.