Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari, has identified the acquisition of technical skills as critical driver of Nigeria’s national development plan.
Ari, said this while presenting a paper entitled ‘The Place of Skills in National Development: the ITF Perspective’, at the 11th National Council on Industry in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
He noted that economic development, a critical ingredient for national development, was driven by available skills and competences.
While blaming the failure of various development plans on poor leadership, bad followership, corruption, poor strategies, poor execution of policies and programmes, underdeveloped, irresponsible and parasitic private sector and weak civil service, Ari, noted that despite these problems, the nation’s development plans would be achieved with greater investments in skills acquisition.
He said as a part of efforts to address skill shortage in Nigeria, the Fund in collaboration with United Nation Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) conducted a Skills Gap Assessment Survey in six priority areas of the Nigerian economy, namely, agro-allied, oil and gas, construction, metal and solid mineral, light manufacturing and services.
The report of the survey, he said, showed that skills were lacking in various sectors of the economy.
To plug the gaps, he said ITF had trained 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 earns sustainable livelihoods either as paid employees or entrepreneurs,” he stated.