IT IS NO longer news that the
Industrial Training Fund, ITF, a
manpower development agency
was established by the federal
government decree No 47 of October,
1971 which has since become an Act of
Parliament. It is to provide, promote
and encourage skills acquisition in
industry and commerce with a view
to generating a pool of indigenously
trained manpower sufficient to meet
the needs of the private and public
sectors of the economy.
Findings by Nigerian Pilot revealed
that the fund which operates under
the Federal Ministry of Industries,
Trade and Investment has reached 46
years of continuous growth in human
capital development and skills
impartation to the nation.
Just recently, perhaps, in keeping
to its vision and mission, the ITF
empowered a total of 500 youths
with entrepreneurship skills
under its National Industrial
Skills Development Programme,
NISDP, in Nasarawa State. The
programme according to findings
was implemented simultaneously
in 8 states and the Federal Capital
Territory (FCT), with Borno State
having the lion share of 1,100 to carter
for the large number of Internally
Displaced Persons, IDPs in that
state. The beneficiaries were trained
on various vocational skills for a
minimum of three months in different
trade areas in addition to a start-up
capital as well as tools to commence
their businesses.
At the passing out ceremony of the
first batch of trainees for the 2016
NISDP in Lafia, the Nasarawa state
capital recently, Director-General of
the ITF, Joseph Ari, explained that the capacity building training was a
component of the National Enterprises
Development Programme (NEDEP)
conceived by the Federal Ministry
of Industry, Trade and Investment in
collaboration with ITF, the Small and
Medium Enterprises Development
Agency, SMEDAN and Bank of Industry
with the aimed of actualising the
diversification agenda of the federal
government.
The DG who was represented at the
ceremony by the Area Manager in
charge of ITF Lafia Area office further
explained that the programme seeks to
precipitate rapid industrialisation and
stimulate inclusive economic growth by
empowering the youth to be gainfully
employed through the provision
of training in technical vocational
skills in various trade areas, business
development service and business
finance.
He posited that for the country
to adequately overcome the socioeconomic
problems and some social
vices bedeviling it such as kidnappings,
high profile assassination, armed
robbery, religious intolerance and
terrorism, the issue of wealth creation
and poverty reduction must be properly
addressed.“Technical and vocational skills
acquisition is indeed a veritable strategy
for deploying sustainable solutions to
address and redress these vices as it will
facilitate the generation of a self reliant
and responsible citizenry”, he said.
The beneficiaries were trained on
tilling and interlocking, POP, pestering/
banking, shoe and soap making. He
noted that the ITF requires the support
of government and all stakeholders
to be able to expand skills acquisition
opportunity in Nigeria.
In a remark at the event, the Secretary
to the Nasarawa State Government,
Ambassador Suleiman Azores, who
observed that the establishment of ITF
by the federal gvernment has boosted
the skills acquisition and manpower
development in the country, urged
the beneficiaries to utilise the training
by contributing to the socio-economic
development of the society.
Azores said that the state government
had already joined the queue by engaging
hundreds of youths in vocational skills,
assuring that government will continue
to do her best in that regard.
“As a government, we are very much
appreciative of what ITF is doing to
our people, especially the training
opportunity accorded our youths. Weshall continue to partner relevant
organisations and agencies like the
ITF to improve the living condition of
our people”.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the
Nasarawa State Commissioner for
Youth and Sports, Alhaji Galadima
who enjoined the youths, especially
the beneficiaries of programme to
make maximum use of the skills
acquired, noted that by so doing, the
youth would be better placed to assist
themselves, family members and the
society in general.
“As future leaders, you must be
ready to prepare for the task ahead.
Your ability to be a good leader
tomorrow depends largely on how
well you utilize the opportunities
such as the one given from ITF to
be better persons in your future
endeavors”, he said.
As the ITF intensifies efforts in
meeting with its target and purpose
of establishment, Nigerian Pilot
observed that the recent establishment
of its Lafia Area Office has continued
to attract commendations from
stakeholders in both the private and
public sectors of the economy.
One of such commendations was
from a retired federal Permanent
Secretary and chairman, Sandaji
Group of Companies, Alhaji
Abubakar Sandaji who described the
recent establishment of ITF office in
Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State
as the best thing that has happened
to the state considering the benefits
derivable from the fund by both the
private and public sectors especially
in the area of manpower development.
In the same vein, the rector of the
Nasarawa state polytechnic, Lafia,
Associate Professor Silas Gyar, at a
recent stakeholders interactive forum
organised by the Lafia Area Office
of the fund in Lafia pointed out that
his institution was pleased with the
establishment of ITF office in Lafia
as the gesture had automatically
addressed the challenge of having to
travel to ITF office in Jos, the Plateau
State capital on issues of Students
Idustrial Work Experience Scheme,
SIWES.
The rector, represented at the
interactive forum by his deputy,
Mr. Augustine Aligabu said “As a
technology institution, we stand to
benefit most from your (ITF) presence
in Nasarawa State today. We would
no longer have cause to travel to
Jos when we have issues of SIWES
and other things like it use to be as
such matters would henceforth be
addressed right here in Lafia. We are
indeed grateful with your coming in
the state”, Gyar said.
Stakeholders are therefore of the
view that as a new office in town, it
behooves on the federal government,
especially Nasarawa, the host state, to
give ITF the necessary support to be
able to serve the people well.


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