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Benue earmarks N43m for NISDP beneficiaries


Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

The Government of Benue State has voted about N43 million for the procurement of start-up packs for the 500 beneficiaries of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) from the state.

The state has also pledged to pay N15, 000 monthly stipend to the trainees during the three – month programme.Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this during the Flag-Off of the second Phase of the 2016 NISDP in Makurdi.

Ortom, represented by the Deputy Governor, BensonAbounu, said the NISDP was a significant step towards taking youths from the state, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in Nigeria, off the streets by providing them with employable skills, a statement yesterday by Head, Public Affairs of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Suleyol Fred Chagu, said.


The governor, who blamed rising unemployment for soaring youth restiveness in the state, noted that as part of the state government’s efforts to create employment and reduce poverty, it has entered into partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI) to secure a N3billion loan to be made available to Small and Medium Enterprises to boost business activities in the state.

Ortom added that a portion of the BoIloans would also be extended to the NISDP beneficiaries without collateral provided they formed enterprises and companies, and had sound business proposals.

He appealed to ITF to make the programme bi-annual so that more youth from the state would benefit.In an earlier address, the Director General of the ITF, Joseph Ntung Ari, said that the NISDP was informed by the realization that despite soaring unemployment, vacancies still existed in the National economy that were filled by foreigners because of the lack of Nigerians with the requisite skills.

Ari said that it was with a view to arresting the problem of unemployment, which he emphasised portended “a clear and present danger” that the programme was inaugurated.

He disclosed that the programme in its earlier phases trained 84,100 Nigerians in over 30 trades and crafts, most of whom were today gainfully employed, or very successful entrepreneurs.

The DG said, owing to its growing popularity, plans were underway to expand the programme so that more Nigerians would benefit.“For instance, in the future, several streams would be run within a phase, while it will roll out in all the states at the same time. Like I said earlier, I believe this is the way to go if the country will successfully create jobs and diversify the economy as envisioned by the Buhari administration,” he said.

In further efforts to tackle the intractable unemployment problem, Ari said that the Fund had unveiled a four year plan whose overriding objectives to implement strategies directly targeted at creating jobs, reducing poverty and placing the Nation on a sound path of economic recovery and growth.

He, therefore, appealed to stakeholders to collaborate and partner the ITF so as to solve the unemployment problem through the implementation of accelerated skills acquisition programmes that would equip Nigerians with life skills for growth and development.


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