ITF retools 450,000 youths for employment, entrepreneurship
Disturbed by the horde of unemployed youths roaming the streets on account of lack of requisite skills, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has equipped over 450,000 for employment and entrepreneurship.It pointed out that this seeming idleness fuels the crimes and other social vices besetting Nigeria.
ITF Director General, Sir Joseph Ari, during the close of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) in Lokoja, said of the figure, 4,500 youths from Kogi State benefited from the programme.Represented by a deputy director in the institute, Mr. Atiku Muhammed, the DG revealed that the phase of the training that held shortly before the 2019 general elections, turned out 11,000 Nigerians in various trade, including welding and fabrication; plumbing and pipe-fitting; tailoring; aluminum, tiling; Plaster of Paris (POP) and photography.
He added that over 300 Kogi indigenes equally benefited from the phase, stating they were trained on tailored trade for them to directly impact on the economies of the state and the country at large.His words: “Our commitment to skill acquisition is based on the fact that it is the most sustainable solution to combating unemployment, reducing poverty and youth restiveness in the country.
“It is incontrovertible that any society that neglects the development of its human capital is bound to retrogress in terms of growth and development. “In Nigeria, the situation is especially worrisome as even in the face of existing vacancies in several sectors of the national economy as revealed by surveys conducted by the ITF and other organisations, youths still roam the streets without any form of gainful employment, giving rise to crimes and other social vices that have beset our dear nation today.”
Ari disclosed that his agency’s target for this year was to equip Nigerians with lifetime skills in the agriculture, construction, transport and services sectors, adding that these areas have huge potential for job creation.He charged parents and guardians to prioritise skill acquisition and vocations for their wards for a meaningful life, stressing that the era of white-collar jobs was over.
The Head of ITF Training Centre, Lokoja, Mallam Umar Ibrahim urged government at all levels as well as corporate organisations and philanthropists to invest in the youths by way of training.The Kogi Coordinator of National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB), Mrs. Pauline Ajibili, cautioned the trainees against selling their starter packs, reminding them that the tools signpost a brighter future.