Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) said it has trained over 450,000 Nigerians in skills acquisition between 2016 and 2018, 90 per cent of whom are in productive endeavors today either as paid employees or as entrepreneurs that are employing others.
Its Director General/Chief Executive, Mr. Joseph Ari, made this known in Abuja while unveiling the 2019 skills Intervention programme as part of their effort to contain the rising unemployment in the country.
Citing the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Report of the last Quarter of 2018, Ari said the number of Nigerians without jobs increased from 17.6 million in the 4th Quarter of 2017 to 20.9 in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.
This, according to him, is despite the fact that the number of people in employment increased from 68.4 million in the 3rd Quarter of 2015 to 68.72 million in the 3rd Quarter of 2016; 69.09 million in the 3rd Quarter of 2017 and 69.53 million in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.
Describing the statistics as scary and staggering , the ITF boss stated that it should not only be a source of worry for any administration committed to the welfare of Nigerians but indeed all patriotic Nigerians.
He, however, noted that Buhari administration has made tremendous efforts to create jobs in recent times.
On the unveiling of the 2019 skills intervention programmes, Ari said the ITF came up with a list of 11 implementable programmes for 2019. They are the National Industrial skills Development programme, women skills Empowerment programme and Air – conditioning and Refrigeration.
Others include Design and Garment making for Nigerian youths to professional programme skills training and Empowerment programme for the physically challenged (step – c), construction skills Empowerment programme (concept) among others.