Amby Uneze in Owerri
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) recently graduated 300 trainees who participated in its intensive three months 2018 National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) training in the areas of aluminium fabrication, catering and event management, and tiling, in Owerri, Imo State.
The agency also empowered the participants with tools ranging from aluminium cutting machine, tiling implements to baking oven and certificate to enable the beneficiaries take off their self-employment business.
In his address at the closing ceremony and award of certificate and presentation of tools to the graduands, the ITF Director General, Mr. Joseph Ari, said the programme focused on skills acquisition to create jobs to stem rampant unemployment and breed a new generation of entrepreneurs, in order to transform the economic landscape of the country.
According to Ari, within the last two years, the ITF, through the NISDP and other skills acquisition programmes, equipped over 450,000 Nigerian youths nationwide and over 600 youths from Imo state with skills for employability and entrepreneurship. Ari, who was represented at the occasion by the Director, Technical Vocational Skills Development Department, Mrs. Lami Dakwak, maintained that ITF commitment to skills acquisition was based on the fact that it was 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 roam the streets without any form of gainful employment giving rise to crimes and other social vices that have beset our dear country today,” he stated.
Ari, added that through monitoring and evaluation of earlier graduands, it was observed that training with empowering them with tools resulted to nothing, hence IFT decided to equip all beneficiaries of its skills acquisition programme with start-up tools to enable them establish their own businesses.
He further maintained that further surveys had indicated that in all cases where the trainees were provided with the kits, over 90 per cent earned reasonable livelihood s entrepreneurs, adding, “it is our conviction that training the youths and women without equipping them defeats the core objectives of the programme.”
He advised the beneficiaries to make use of the opportunity provided to them by ITF skills acquisition programmes.
The Area Manager of ITF in the State, Simon Ogbonna, expressed gratitude to the federal government and the ITF for carrying out the programme religiously in order to create self-employment to the teeming youths of this country.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Chidinma Echekwu, thanked the organisers for giving them lifetime skills that would put food on their family’s table. She promised that they would make use of the training and startup kits to build their lives and also create employment to others.
Goodwill messages came from the State government, the partners such as Mastercraft Tiles Nig. Ltd, Apex Aluminum and other stakeholders. The highpoint of the event was the inspection of the products displayed by the trainees, presentation of certificate and startup kits to the beneficiaries.