Senate Poised to Partner ITF in Tackling Unemployment

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Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

The Senate Committee on Industries has expressed readiness to partner the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in tackling high level of unemployment and other industrial challenges in Nigeria. The initiative to collaborate will help ITF deliver on its core mandate.

The Chairman of the committee, Dr. Sam Egwu, who led other members of the committee to the Fund’s headquarters in Jos, Plateau State said the purpose of the oversight visit was to conduct assessment on the level of judicious budgetary implementation by the Fund, particularly, the 2016 approved appropriation.

He said: “Further to this, we demand to check the level of compliance with the extant Act of the Fund (2011 as amended).

“As lawmakers, we are committed to making vibrant legislations that would stand the test of time in line with the best global practices. We are always willing to make beneficial appropriations for the betterment of our people and growth of economy.”
He added that the Senate committee was willing to see full implementation of capital projects to logical conclusion.

Meanwhile, the Director General, ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, expressed gratitude for the visit of the lawmakers to ITF, describing his guests as “critical stakeholders that have contributed immensely to the growth and development of the Fund through their insightful advice and legislative interventions.”

While enumerating the successes of ITF in the past year, Ari remarked that the incumbent management of the Fund had initiated several programmes and activities, and expanded existing ones that have so far benefitted a total of 115,070 Nigerians.
He said: “The programmes include the NISDP, WOSEP, TDSP, Passion to Profession, Scheduled and Unscheduled Programmes and MSMEs Business Services support.”

He appealed to the National Assembly to assist in appropriations for Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES). For him, despite the soaring participation in the scheme, due to increased licensing of tertiary institutions and disciplines accredited for the scheme, the appropriation for allowances of Supervisors and Students have not reflected such exponential increases leading to a situation where ITF is owing billions as unpaid SIWES Supervisory and Students allowances.