By Seriki Adinoyi
As a way of saving the country from its rising unemployment and poverty rates, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has said that it is set to train over seven million Nigerians in the areas of agriculture, construction and facility maintenance, information and communication technology, manufacturing and services between 2021 and 2031.
Disclosing this in Jos during an interactive session with the journalists, the Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari noted that, “skill acquisition remains the most sustainable solution to increasing poverty and unemployment, and the catalyst to economic growth and development.”
According to him, the ITF was among the few agencies requested by the federal government to forward submissions on lifting of 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“If our proposal, which is currently receiving attention of the authorities, is assented to, the ITF will train over seven million Nigerians in the Agriculture, construction and facility maintenance, information and communication technology, manufacturing and services sector between 2021 and 2031.”
He said that the Fund has implemented several skills intervention programmes, including the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Special Skills Development Programme (SSDP), Federal Government Skills Empowerment Programme (FEGOSEP), Info-Tech Skills Empowerment Programme (ISEP), and Agric-preneurship Training Programme (ATP) with which it has trained thousands of Nigerians that were empowered with start-up packs to set up on their own.
He added, “This year, which we have declared as the year of ” skills Escalation for Prosperity”, we have commenced processes for the implementation of more skills intervention programmes namely: the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), the Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for the Physical Challenged (STEPP-C), the Construction Skills Empowerment Programme (CONSEP), the Passion to Profession Programme ( P2PP), and the Agri- preneurship Training Programme (ATP).
He added that the programmes would train about 12,000 Nigerians between three and six months in web design and programming, advance computer networking, mobile app development, iron bending, masonry, crop production, aquaculture, air-conditioning and refrigeration, plumbing, GSM repairs and ladies wig cap making.
Ari added that, in appreciation of their efforts to equip Nigerians with requisite skills and contributions to the development of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector in Nigeria, ITF was named as a member of the steering committee of the federal government to drive the implementation of the various support schemes for MSMEs in the country as part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of Government’s social investment programmes under Economic Sustainability Plan.
He reassured that the Fund will continue to be responsive to the needs of all its stakeholders in order for them to be productive and grow the national economy.
“This year, we are poised to do more in this regard as most of our stakeholders are still struggling to overcome the ripple effects of the pandemic and will be expecting us to provide quick fix capacity solutions for their businesses.”