FG Directs ITF to Harmonise Skills Devt Programmes of MDAs

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Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

The federal government has directed the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to harmonise all skills development initiatives by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) across the country as enshrined in the ITF Act.

This, the government stated, was to help achieve greater results in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

The directive came from a virtual meeting of critical stakeholders and partners in skills acquisition that was chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to consider a report on the success and progress of the ITF-NECA Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP).

A statement signed by the head of public affairs of ITF, Mrs. Suleyol Fred-Chagu said the Vice President commended the initiative between the ITF and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and lauded the determination of the two organisations to escalate skills development in the economy.

The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, also had representatives of the Minister of Education in attendance.

The Director-General of the ITF, Joseph N. Ari, in the statement, pledged his commitment to ensuring immediate implementation of the directive of the Vice President to harmonise technical and vocational skills training in the Nigerian economy as enshrined in the ITF Act.
He described the decision as a welcome development, as it would lead to greater synergy and cooperation between and amongst Government Agencies involved in Skills Acquisition for job and wealth creation.

He said such collaboration would lead to greater multiplier effect, reduce wastages as well as duplication of efforts, adding that it was for these reasons that the ITF had over the years advocated for Agencies of Government to work together rather than in silos.

“For a number of years now, we have been calling on HRD practitioners, particularly Agencies of Government involved in skills acquisition to come together so that we can work as one to deliver skills to Nigerians, rather than dissipate our energies in disparate and ill-organised efforts that have not yielded any remarkable result,” he noted.

He added that, “today, the National Directorate for Employment (NDE), Bank of Industry (BOI), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency Nigeria (SMEDAN) and a number of other Agencies have several programmes in one form or the other. I believe with synergy, we will have greater impact and more successfully drive the job creation agenda of the Federal Government”.

The ITF, the DG said, would leverage on its experience, expertise, and expansive network to attain the directive of Government.
Already, he said, relevant Departments within the Fund have been directed to put in place necessary machinery for the actualisation of the Federal Government directive.

“As a first step, we will conduct an in-depth survey of all the programmes that are being implemented by other Agencies with particular attention to the impact of individual programmes in order for us to devise a strategy as to how to work together”, he said.