In a bid to tackle the increasing rates of joblessness and poverty, especially among the youths in Nigeria, GOLOK NANMWA, our Plateau State Correspondent writes that the federal government through the Industrial Training Fund, ITF, has commenced a training programme a ross the country to empower unemployed youths to become economically productive.
Following the high level of poverty and unemployment in the country, the Industrial Training Fund, ITF, has said that the fund has completed arrangements to roll out the 5th phase of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme, NISDP, in 13 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory.
According to a press statement issued in Jos and signed by Mrs. Ifeoma Ihezue, head, public affairs unit, the 5th phase, which is the first of the three phases to be implemented in 2016, will be flagged off on the 11th, April 2016 in Abia, Anambra, Adamawa, Borno, Plateau, Delta, Sokoto, Kwara, Ogun, Katsina, Rivers, Lagos and Kaduna States.
The statement added that the programme which is targeted at providing Nigerian youths with technical and vocational skills for wealth creation will support the federal government’s policy objectives on poverty alleviation, job creation and economic diversification. She added that the training will equip youth with skills in 38 trade and craft areas comprising welding and fabrication, domestic electrical, wiring, information and communication technology, tilling, garment making, fish farming, plaster of Paris production, confectionery, hair dressing, antiseptic, detergent and liquid/bar soap making and others.
“Other skills to be imparted to the youths are rice processing, carpentry and joinery, bead making, Panel beating, plumbing and pipe fitting, painting and sign writting, pastry and baking, motor vehicle rewiring, cell phone repairs, vulcanizing, photography, web design, shoe/bag making, masonry, chalk making, cassava processing, poultry farming, groundnut management, tricycle maintenance, cosmetology, polymer recycling, furniture making, creating services, leather works and animal feed milling”, she stated.
The statement pointed out that the programme is targeted at Nigerians between the ages of 18 to 30 years of age with minimum of first school leaving certificate, who must be unemployed resident of states selected for the programme and should not be ex-convicts or of questionable character. ITF added that the programme commence from 2011 in liaison with their parent ministry, the federal ministry of trade, industry and investment noting that it has since trained abaut 74,000 youths who are either self-employed or have been engaged by numerous organisation.
It could be recalled that the immediate past Director General of ITF , Dr Juilet Chukkas Onaeko had told newsmen that ITF had trained thousands of Youths since it was established in 1971. She said ITF has worked tirelessly to achieve its mandate”. According to her “the paradox in Nigeria where many youths are unable to find Jobs while industries claim they have jobs available without suitable hands to take the jobs must be solved.
“ITF being a skills training organisation is vested with the primary responsibility of providing technical vocational skills for the NIRP and NEDEP under the National Industrial Skills Development programme. The Plan of ITF is to make many Nigerians self reliance through skills acquisitions”.
Meanwhile, the Acting Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund, ITF, Dickson Onuoha, has disclosed that training and retraining of staff would be intensified to sharpen their skills for higher productivity. He also assured the staff of management‘s determination to improve their welfare. Onuoha who made the disclosure while addressing members of staff drawn from Headquarters, Jos Area Office, Staff School and Centre for Excellence Bukuru recently.
“The present Management attaches high premium to building the internal capacity of staff. You cannot provide quality service to our clients without being abreast with current trends in the industry”, he said.
Mr Onuoha reiterated the commitment of the Fund to key into the economic diversification policy of the Federal Government, stressing that no meaningful growth in the economy can take place without availability of skilled manpower. He also stated that the current focus of the ITF on training for job creation will assist the ongoing effort to curb insecurity and reduce unemployment across the country, while calling on the staff to contribute innovative ideas that will assist in the actualization of Mr. President’s vision for a greater Nigeria.
Mr. Onuoha further pledged his determination to run an inclusive leadership, stating that the ITF belongs to all and staff should redouble their efforts for sustenance of the Fund. Members of staff at the parley commended the visionary leadership of the Ag. Director General, especially the turn-around within a short time of assumption of office and also his decision to expand and deepen the collaboration between the ITF and Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, on the Technical Skills Development Project, TSDP, and the Cement Technology Institute of Nigeria, CTIN, for the training of 350 Artisans per State on skills in the construction industry.