ITF blames joblessness for festering insecurity
Government at all levels can no longer divorce the increasing unemployment from needless violence currently rocking the nation, the Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari, has said.
According to him, the ITF commitment to skills acquisition is premised on the fact that it remains the most viable and sustainable solution to taming rising unemployment and poverty that have continued to defy the best efforts of government and non- government approaches.
The ITF was established in October 1971, to promote and encourage the acquisition of skills in commerce and industry with a view to generating a pool of indigenous trained manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the economy.
Ari stated this in his address at the closing ceremony of the 2019 National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), held in Abuja.
He said this phase of the programme commenced in the last quarter of 2019, stressing that it lasted for between three to six months depending on the trade.
He said: “In all, over 11,000 Nigerians were equipped with skills in nine trades, namely, Leather works (shoe and bag-making), welding and fabrication, catering and event management, tilling, production and laying of interlock, and tiling.
He remarked that since inception, ITF has successfully trained over 300,000 Nigerians on skill acquisition programmes across the country.
In his address to the occasion, the Special Guest of honour, and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said government is providing avenues to substantially increase access to affordable credit through schemes such as the N250 billion Central Bank, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) fund, the Growth Enterprises and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), and developing alternative collateral programmes for SMEs to ensure that youths are given support to translate the acquired skills into poverty reduction and job creation.
Mustapha, represented by a Permanent Secretary in the OSGF, David Adejo, noted that creation of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, was underscored by the need to consolidate and build on existing achievements in the areas of creating pathways for the achievement of government’s objectives in reducing poverty and creating more jobs for youths.
Also in a remark, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Industry, Senator Sikiru Adebayo, warned beneficiaries of the programme against selling their start-up kits, but to use them effectively to create jobs for themselves and for others.