Youths’ Emigration Will Benefit Economy, Says ITF DG
James Emejo in Abuja
As concerns mount over the growing numbers of Nigerians leaving the country to seek greener pastures abroad, the Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Mr. Joseph Ari, has said the development could as well be of benefit to the country.
He said though Nigerians have the obligation to make the country better by addressing unemployment, it is, however, not out of place for youths to leverage opportunities that abound around the world to earn a living ad improve their living conditions.
Speaking at a meeting with the newly appointed Director-General, Nigerian Employees Consultative Association (NECA), Mr. Wale-Smatt Oyerinde in Abuja, the ITF boss, pointed out that emigration could, in turn, benefit the economy in terms of increased diaspora remittance to the country as well as attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Ari, said, “It is not bad for our people to also leverage on the opportunities that abound globally because our population is young and vibrant and they would be needed in many climes of the world where their population is aged and now not very productive.
“So, when the young Nigerians get to those countries, they would add value and in turn, when they send a few things back home, it would increase the direct foreign investment that would be needed for our country.”
He, however, noted that the intention and desire of both ITF and NECA were to ensure that those “young men and women who leave the shores of this country for other climes should first and foremost be equipped with the needed skills.
“So, when you go with the needed skills and you are empowered, you are not going in for cheap labour; you will be exposed to high flying jobs in blue-chip companies and then it is better for you to rise but when you go without the skills, you are going to be engaged in cheap labour which will not be too good for our country.”
He insisted any emigrant should acquire relevant skills in order to explore his or her potential to limitless levels, and expressed optimism that NECA under the leadership of Oyerinde will work with the fund to address the rising unemployment in the country.
He said the renewed vision of the ITF is centered around a national apprenticeship training system.
Ari said, “We need to change the education system of Nigeria to integrate Technical Vocational Education and Training in our curriculum. Nigerians should embrace TVET as a unique measure to address unemployment in the nation.
“Unemployment is rising daily and we want more Nigerians to embrace skills acquisition because white collar jobs are becoming almost non-existent.”