From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari, said the fund has aligned with the Federal Government towards the actualization of the National Development Plan to lift 35 million Nigerians out of poverty.
He noted that the plan which was projected to create 21 million jobs will also ensure affordable housing for Nigerians.
Ari disclosed this on Tuesday during a Media Forum with members of the Correspondents’ Chapel NUJ, Plateau State Council, at the NUJ Secretariat Jos.
“Daily are reports of acts of criminality that could only have been imagined some few years back amongst other numerous usual challenges that are confronting us as a nation. To overcome the challenges of Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA), Nations are devising strategies to reduce unemployment, poverty, increase social inclusion and other initiatives.
“It was perhaps in response to these threats and other considerations that the Federal Government recently unveiled the 5-year National Development Plan (2021-2025) to replace the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP)
“The plan, which projects the creation of 21 million jobs, with 35 million Nigerians lifted out of poverty, affordable housing for Nigerians and an export-led economy among others and is expected to cost N381 trillion to implement has six focal areas – economic growth and development, infrastructure, public administration, human capital development, social development and regional development.
“As the leading human capital development institution in Nigeria, we have commenced the process of repositioning our programmes and activities to effectively prepare the Nation’s workforce in line with our mandate of developing a pool of qualified Nigerians to man the public and private sectors of the national economy as we believe that for this plan to succeed, all Nigerians as individual citizens and as institutions must contribute their bit.”
He explained that on his assumption in office in 2016, the economy was in recession leading to massive job losses and corresponding increases in poverty.
“Our initiatives then particularly the emphasis on skills intervention programmes was borne out of the need to drive the actualization of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP), which we achieved to an appreciable degree by training hundreds of thousands of Nigerians that are today gainfully employed or even employers of labour.
” We are committed to doing the same with equal or even greater impact given the centrality of human capital development to the actualization of the Plan. It is because of this that we recently convened a Half-Year and Third Quarter Review Meeting to reevaluate our targets, reprioritize our objectives and allocation of resources to ensure our service offerings henceforth are tailored to driving the actualisation of the human capital element of the National Development plan.”
Ari expressed optimism that the objectives of the National Development Plan are realizable with the support of all Nigerians particularly Governments at all levels, the Organised Private sector, Non-governmental Organisations and all well-meaning Nigerians.
He appreciated the Media for projecting ITF in good light towards realizing its mandate and urged Journalists to continue to project Nigeria positively, considering National security.
Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel NUJ, Plateau State Council, Gyang Bere applauded the Director General for his initiative towards providing skills to Nigerians to fight poverty.
“We know how strategic the ITF has been in the fight against the scourge of high unemployment rate in Nigeria among other issues that have impacted negatively on the economy.
“The absence of matching skills with industry need has also heightened the rate of unemployment and ITF under your Sir Joseph Ari has been in the forefront of addressing the challenges with requisite skills.”