By James Emejo in Abuja
The Director General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Mr. Dickson Onouha has effectively flagged-off the skills and vocational training programmes for thousands of internally displaced persons, (IDPs) in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The initiative is aimed at fast tracking the reintegration, re-skilling and empowerment of thousands of people, particularly women and youths, who had been displaced by years of conflict in the North East, in line with efforts to empower the people and rebuild the economy of the zone.
President Muhammadu Buhari had pledged the commitment of the federal government to resettle millions of IDPs back to their communities, in order to empower them with skills that will assist in urgently reintegrating them into their various communities.
The flag-off marked part of the 5th Phase of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme, (NISDP), which is the Technical and Vocational skills training component of the National Enterprise Development Programme, (NEDEP), set up by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to fastrack the realisation of the National Industrial Revolution Programme, (NIRP).
Onuoha said the scheme had so far produced thousands of skilled Nigerians and will further expose the IDPs to intensive technical and vocational skills training for three months in different trade areas.
He said ITF increased the number of trainees from the IDPs in Borno, making it the state with the highest number of trainees for this phase of the programme.
He said: “This increased figures clearly demonstrates the commitment of the Federal Government to equip young Nigerians, especially IDPs with livelihood skills for self-sustenance, and also quicken their rehabilitation and integration..”
He said to achieve the set objective that the fund in conjunction with relevant arms of the state government have identified and selected suitable centers in Maiduguri to provide trainings in tailoring and fashion design, poultry farming and cosmetology amongst others.
According to him, the trade areas were carefully selected based on their anticipated value addition to the citizens of the state, and the potential to provide opportunities for the establishment of micro, small and medium scale enterprises, as well as being a sure means for sustainable livelihood.
However, he pointed out that the objective of the programme cannot be achieved without the support, synergy and collaboration of all stakeholders.
He also commended the State Governor, Kasheem Shetima for his support, adding that the training was bound to be a success, due to the encouragement of IDPs by the state government.
He urged the trainees to shun all negative acts capable of undermining the noble objectives of the programme, stressing that they must exhibit relentless appetite for excellence, before, during and after the training.