Impressed by the activities of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), the Federal Government has assured of its continue support for the training of the teeming youths in vocational trades rather than rely on white collar jobs.
This assurance was given on Thursday in Abuja by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo at the graduation ceremony of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) at the Shehu Musa Yar Adua Center.
Represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, Prof. Osibanjo said that one of the greatest challenges government is how to harness the great potentials of the Nigerian youths.
He therefore commended ITF for so far training over 400, 000 Nigerian youths on various skills and called for a greater synergy between federal government agencies like ITF and National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in the skills acquisition programmes, adding that government will like to encourage all the comatose Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to wake up and emulate ITF.
Prof. Osibanjo however, called on the Nigerian youths to embrace skills acquisition programmes such as the one offered by ITF.
Also speaking at the event, Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari said that the Federal Government especially President Muhammadu Buhari and indeed Prof Osibanjo have supported ITF in the training over 150, 000 Nigerian youths in various skills or trades in order to fend for themselves. Sir Ari specifically thanked Pro Osibanjo whom he said was responsible for the inclusion of ITF on the Board of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
According to him ” the VP’s commitment and dedication to tackling unemployment and reducing poverty has spurred us to higher levels of achievement leading to several initiatives including the NISDP, which graduation we are witnesseing today”.
The ITF boss disclosed that the scheme which since inception has equipped 150, 000 Nigerian youths with skills for employability and entrepreneurship. Other speakers at the occasion include Minister of Trade and Industries, Dr. Okechukwu Enelama and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Musa Mohammed represented by their Permanent Secretaries Sunday Edet Akpan and Chinyeaka Ohaa respectively while Dr. Samuel Egwu, Chairman Senate Committee on Trade and Industries eulogised ITF, saying that “ITF which was established by the act of the National Assembly has met its expectations”.
The former Ebonyi state governor also advised Nigerian youths to embrace skills acquisition programmes of the government but called on the Federal Government to liaise with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to henceforth give the trainees between N1m to N5m to establish the trade the acquired.
All the graduating trainees were given Start Up Kits based on the trade they learnt such as plumbing, tailoring, welding and fabrication, aluminium, POP and photography.