ITF decries soaring unemployment, poverty in Nigeria
Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has decried the soaring poverty and unemployment, reportedly affecting about 90 million Nigerians.
According to the Fund, the unemployed are desirous to work, but cannot find jobs, due to the absence of requisite skills.
The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Sir Joseph Ari, disclosed this during a press briefing on the ITF Strategic Policy Direction 2022-2025, which held at its Centre for Excellence Auditorium in Jos, Plateau State.
Ari, however, regretted that in the face of the above, the country’s population continued to soar, with the World Bank estimating that it might hit 216 million by the end of 2022.
“Equally worrisome is the spectre of out-of-school children, which, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is projected to be over 18.5 million in 2023,” he added.
Harping on the need to fully acquaint the public with ITF’s plans, Ari said the ‘Strategic Policy Direction’ was the third of such plans by his administration, sequel to the 2016 plan he unveiled on assumption of office entitled ‘Strategy for Mandate Actualisation.’
The ITF boss explained further that the plan, which was to terminate in 2022, was reviewed in 2020 to address gaps identified in the course of its implementation, to appropriately respond to the negative impact of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and ITF’s numerous clients.
Despite the numerous achievements of the Fund on account of the initiatives, he noted: “We have realised that more needs to be done, if we must fully tackle the numerous socio-economic problems bedeviling us as a nation.
“Given the nature of your profession (media), you should be acutely aware that with the current unemployment rate in Nigeria, governments at all levels have challenges. It has become increasingly obvious that efforts have to be redoubled by all and sundry to effectively rid the country of these challenges.”
The Guardian gathered that based on the above and with resolutions from its recent National Skill Summit in Abuja, ITF found it imperative to review its strategies to address the challenges and to meet the skills requirement of the nation, in line with global best practices.
According to Ari, to replicate such successes, the perception that skills acquisition is the preserve of a section of the society has to be addressed because the prejudice has discouraged people from perceiving skills acquisition as a real and better alternative to white-collar jobs.