The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has revealed that in the last two years, the organisation had trained and equipped over 450,000 Nigerian youths in different skills acquisition for employability and entrepreneurship . Director General ITF Sir Joseph Ari disclosed this during the closing ceremony of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) in Lokoja. According to him, out of the over 450,000 trainees, Kogi State had over 4,500 youth that have benefited from the programme. The Director General who was represented at the occasion by a Deputy Director ITF Mr. Atiku Muhammed noted that the phase of the programme which was completed shortly before the 2019 elections, trained over 11,000 Nigerians in various trade areas such as Wielding and Fabrication , Plumbing and Pipe-Fitting, Tailoring , Aluminum, Tiling ,Plaster of Paris (POP) and Photography. He added that over 300 indigenes of Kogi state also benefited from the phase, saying they were trained in various trades that were carefully selected based on their potential to directly impact on the economy of the state and the country. “Our commitment to skills acquisition is based on the fact that it is the most sustainable solution to combatting 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 organizations, youths roam the streets without any form of gainful employment giving rise to crimes and other social vices that have beset our dear nation today” the DG said. Ari further disclosed that ITF target this year was to vigorously work to equip Nigerians with lifelong skill in the Agriculture, Construction, Transport and Services sectors, noting that the areas have potential for job creation. While calling on parents and guardians to consider skill as vocations and as real alternatives that could lead to a meaningful life, the Director General said the era of white-collar job in the country is truly over.