Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari has said the fund has equipped Nigerians with requisite technical skills to take over existing jobs in the country, that are currently occupied by non-Nigerians.
He observed that a Skill Gap Survey had shown that there are vacancies in the area of Services, agriculture, construction and transportation that Nigerians could not occupy because they don’t have the technical skills to do them effectively.
Ari, disclosed this in Jos, recently during the 2019 ITF merit award ceremony.
He said: “Skills Gap Survey of six priority sectors of the National Economy, which was conducted by the ITF and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) showed that vacancies exist in four sectors; services, agriculture, construction and transportation that were in some cases being filled by non-Nigerians because of the absence of Nigerians with the requisite technical skills.
“To prepare Nigerians to effectively take over these sectors, beginning from 2016, the Fund initiated a number of skills acquisition programmes particularly targeted at these sectors.
“Through these programmes, thousands of Nigerians who are today, earning sustainable livelihoods as paid employees or as entrepreneurs that are even employing others, were equipped with skills in diverse trades.”
He said the Fund in 2019 expanded the scope of its programmes for the benefits of Nigerians and trained over 11,100 Nigerians across the 36 states of the federation in eight trade areas.
Ari, said N2,094,407,000 was disbursed as students and supervisory allowances in 2019.
He said, “In the year under review, ITF disbursed a N2,094,407,000 as students and supervisory allowances; of this N1,645,454,000 as students’ allowances to 142,462 students from 325 tertiary Institutions and N448, 953,000 was paid out as supervisory allowances.”
Noting that despite the challenges confronting the Fund, ranging from under appropriations in the face of soaring number of participants as a result of the establishment of new institutions, Ari said the Fund remains unwavering towards handling the situation.
He explained that as parts of efforts to encourage employers of labour to train their workers, the ITF paid N6,602,688,147 as training reimbursement to 566 companies that met the criteria for the reimbursement.
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, who was represented by Commissioner of Special Duties, Jeremiah Jerr, said Plateau will continue to train its citizens for employability and entrepreneurship with the ITF, noting that the ITF is more organized and focused under Ari in fulfilling the mandate and vision of President Muhammadu Buhari in wealth creation and poverty reduction.