ITF DG, Sir Joe Ari, at the graduation ceremony of NISDP graduates in Abuja PHOTO: ITF

BY SEGUN ADEBAYO, ABUJA – The Federal Government on Monday commended the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) under the leadership of Sir Joe Ari for training no fewer than 200,000 youths on various skills acquisition under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) towards empowering the nation’s teeming vibrant populace.

Making this commendation yesterday in Abuja during the graduation of NISDP graduates at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, applauded achievements of the Fund in the past three and half years under Ari as the Director General.

According to the SGF, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to realizing the development potentials of youths for national development. Apart from reiterating the resolve of the government in empowering the citizenry, the scribe to the Government called on graduates to take advantage of start-up packages for success.

Identifying skills acquisition programmes as means to ending poverty and empowering youths for the future, Mr. Mustapha applauded the NISDP as a viable platform in closing entrepreneurial deficits and create jobs for the country’s teeming youths.

Speaking at the event, the ITF Director General declared that the Fund’s commitments to skill acquisition “is premised on the fact that it remains the most viable and sustainable solution to rising unemployment and poverty that have continued to defy the best efforts of Governmental and non-Governmental approaches. There are countless reasons for us to worry as Government, and as institutions vested with the arduous task of equipping Nigerians with the life skills for employability and entrepreneurship.

“There is no doubt that unemployment has wrought a terrible damage on all facets of our national life. No reasonable analysis will divorce unemployment from the needless incidents of violence that have claimed thousands of lives across the Nation. It will equally be difficult to separate rising criminality and harmful social vices that are being perpetrated by Nigerians because of unemployment and the attendant poverty. Consequently, our population that ordinarily should be a resource, may become an albatross if we cannot provide a greater proportion of our population with a source of livelihood.”

Commending President Buhari for carrying out far reaching measures to create jobs, Sir Ari said, “It must, however, be noted that President Buhari’s administration has made tremendous effort to create jobs. Today, across the length and breadth of the country we see visible evidence of the Federal Government’s efforts to get Nigerians engaged in meaningful economic ventures through various social investment programmes and the numerous skills acquisition programmes being implemented by the ITF and other organisations with similar mandates.”

The ITF boss called on “State Governments, the Organised Private Sector (OPS), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), Faith-Based Organisations, Politicians and other stakeholders to collaborate with the ITF in our efforts to train Nigerians. It could be by way of sponsorship of additional trainees for our various skills programmes, or by buying start-up packs for beneficiaries of the programmes. Only through such collaborations will the Fund be able to train as many youths to impact the Nigerian environment.”

In the FCT, 300 youths, the ITF DG added, were trained in Welding and Fabrication, Domestic Electrical Wiring and Installation, Catering and Event Management, Solar Energy Installation and Autogelle and Beauty Care. We believe that given the intensity and the very practical nature of the training, which was 80 percent practical and 20 percent theory, they were equipped with the necessary skills and attitudes for them to thrive as employees or as entrepreneurs. When tied with the trades, which were chosen after careful and in-depth need analysis of their locales, we have no doubt they will thrive, as trades they have learned will always be needed.

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