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ITF boss seeks skill acquisition for youths to tackle illegal migration


Director General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has appealed to stakeholders to collaborate with the organization in order to equip more Nigerians with skills for employability and entrepreneurship as a means of stopping illegal migration to Europe.
The Director-General of the Fund, Sir Joseph Ari, who stated this when he received some stakeholders of the ITF, explained that equipping Nigerians with relevant skills was not only in line with the Federal Government’s efforts to create jobs but would stem the current wave of migration, especially by the youth which has culminated in a loss of lives and enslavement of thousands of productive Nigerians.
Head, Public Affairs Unit of the Fund, Suleyol Chagu, quoted the Chief Executive as wondering why the mass migration despite the fact that several surveys by the ITF and other organizations have revealed that skills gaps exist that were filled by foreigners.
Ari disclosed that it was with a view to equipping Nigerians with skills to fill those existing vacancies that the ITF has embarked on a number of initiatives and expanded existing programmes to ensure that more Nigerians are empowered with skills to check unemployment and promote entrepreneurship.
He listed some of the programmes to include the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Passion to Profession, Training on Wheels Using Mobile Training Units, the Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), the Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP) as well as the Vulnerable and Indigent Youth Empowerment Programme (VIYEP) among several others.
Shedding more light on the NISDP which has trained over 100,000 Nigerians since it commenced, the DG said under the current phase that is on-going in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the ITF is training 11,100 trainees with skills in welding and fabrication, tailoring and garment making, and plumbing and pipe fitting.
The DG revealed that in the last one year alone, over 70,000 Nigerians benefited from these skills acquisition programmes, adding that all the beneficiaries were given starter packs to start their businesses.
He said about 90 percent of the beneficiaries were either currently successful entrepreneurs, or earning livelihoods as paid employees according to the monitoring and evaluation of graduates conducted by the ITF.
Ari noted that some of the programmes were carried out in collaboration with several organisations and agencies both private and public in order to check unemployment and promote entrepreneurship.
The DG warned that if drastic action was not taken, the problem would further escalate going by projections that by 2050, Nigeria’s population will soar to over 500 million, stressing however that if equipped with the requisite skills, the population could become hugely advantageous.
In his remarks, Mr. Danjuma Gyang, a representative of the stakeholders, commended the ITF for its initiatives, noting that they will positively reverse the unemployment situation by directly creating jobs.

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