‘Poor leadership, followership, corruption responsible for failure of development plans’
Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari has said poor leadership, bad followership, corruption and poor strategies are responsible for the failure of various development plans in the country.
He stated this while presenting his paper titled, “The Place of Skills in National Development: ITF Perspective,” at the 11th National Council on Industry in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State yesterday.
He commended past efforts at formulating development plans but argued that those factors have continued to hinder the progress of all development plans.
According to him, studies on Skills Gap Assessment Survey in agro-allied, oil and gas, construction, metal and solid mineral, light manufacturing and services has shown that skills were lacking in various sectors of the economy.
He explained that agriculture, construction, tourism and services sectors of the economy, could generate about 20 million direct and indirect jobs if well developed.
Ari also submitted that the development plan was to facilitate sustainable and stable development, jobs creation, diversification of the nation’s industrial base, economic growth, strong revenue base, infrastructure development, as well as peace and security.
The ITF he said has facilitated employability and entrepreneurship of over 450,000 Nigerians in various skills through its intervention programmes to accelerate economic growth, adding that half of the numbers were already earning sustainable livelihoods either as paid employees or entrepreneurs in their various skills.
“The ITF has equipped over 450,000 Nigerians with various skills for employability and entrepreneurship. Information from our monitoring and evaluation process indicates that over half of that number now earn sustainable livelihoods either as paid employees or entrepreneurs,” he stated.
He described skills and national development, like Siamese twins that could not be separated, adding that economic development is driven by available skills and competences.
Ari added that the various intervention programmes were designed and implemented in a way that guarantees sustainability, adding that the programmes were geared towards addressing the target of sustainable development such as gender, equity, poverty alleviation, economic growth, peace and Justice.
He, however, explained that lack of harmonisation of skills development, the unwillingness of employers to accept students seeking placement, Nigerians’ poor perception and attitude among others, were the challenges confronting the intervention programme.
The ITF boss stressed that the country needed skills to drive its national development plans to generate employment, provide job opportunities, reduce crime, stimulate economic growth, improve income distribution, grow Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and reduce over-dependence on expatriates.