Gyang Bere, Jos
The Director General of Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari, has said that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, will present start-up packs to 11,000 trainees of its 2018 National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) across the country.
A statement signed by the Head, Public Affairs of ITF, Suleyol Fred Chagu, said, “the graduation ceremony, which is slated for April 4, 2019, at the Musa Shehu Yar’adua Centre in Abuja is expected to have in attendance the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who will be the special guest of honour.
“The ceremony would also be attended by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammad Bello; the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, as well as the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar.”
Ari explained that the decision to empower all the graduands with start-up packs was informed by revelations of the monitoring and evaluation of beneficiaries of earlier phases, which indicated that where the trainees were empowered with such supports, almost 90 per cent ended up as successful entrepreneurs that were employing others.
The DG said the ITF was committed to imparting skills to as many Nigerians as possible as it remained the most sustainable solution to the twin problems of unemployment and poverty as government alone cannot provide jobs for all Nigerians.
He disclosed that a study of six priority sectors in the national economy, which the ITF conducted in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) revealed that despite acute unemployment, vacancies exist in the economy that cannot be filled or are hard to fill because of the absence of Nigerians with the required skills, adding that most of these vacancies are being filled by people other than Nigerians.
Considering the capital intensive nature of skills acquisition, he appealed to stakeholders including state governments, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and faith-based organisations, among others, to collaborate with ITF in view of the vast number of unemployed Nigerians.
The DG said that stakeholders that are desirous of collaborating with ITF could sponsor additional trainees to ITF skills acquisition programmes in order for more Nigerians to benefit. He noted that such sponsorship would entail the payment of master craftsmen, the monthly stipends for trainees as well as provision of start-up packs for such additional trainees.
Ari said the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) is one of the skills acquisition programmes that was initiated by ITF under its plan, the ITF Reviewed Vision.
He noted that the strategies for mandate actualisation, which came into force in November 2016, have equipped over 450,000 Nigerians with skills for employability and entrepreneurship.