The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) said it trained more than 450 Nigerians in skills acquisition programmes for employability and entrepreneurship between 2016 and 2018.
Sir Joseph Ari, the ITF Director-General, said this on Thursday in Abuja at a news conference where he presented the ITF 2019 Skills Intervention Programme.
Ari said that 90 per cent of the trained Nigerians were in productive endeavours either as paid employees or as entrepreneurs.
“There is no doubt that unemployment has wrought a terrible damage on all facets of our national life. No reasonable analysis will divorce unemployment from the needless incidences of violence that has claimed thousands of lives nationwide.
“It will equally be difficult to separate rising criminality and harmful social vices that are being perpetrated by Nigerians because of unemployment and attendant poverty.
“Consequently, our population that ordinarily should be our resources has become an albatross because we cannot provide a greater proportion of our population with a source of livelihood,’’ he said.
The director general said that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report of last quarter of 2018 revealed the level of unemployment and increase in employment between 2017 and 2018 in the country.
“The number of Nigerians without jobs between fourth quarter of 2017 to third quarter of 2018 increased from 17.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018.
“This is despite the fact that the number of people in employment increased from 68.4 million in the third quarter of 2015 to 68.72 million in the third quarter of 2016.
“It also increased from 69.09 million in the third quarter of 2017 to 69.53 million in the third quarter of 2018,’’ he said.
According to him, the statistics are scary and staggering and should be a source of worry.
Ari said that the Federal Government had made tremendous efforts to create jobs as reflected in the increase of the number of employed people as cited in the NBS report.
He reiterated ITF’s commitment to equipping many more Nigerians with skills for employability and entrepreneurship in order to create jobs and reduce poverty in line with its mandate and policy objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He appealed to the media to help in sensitisation to educate governments and critical stakeholders on the need for skills acquisition in the country to stem some noticeable vices.
Our correspondent reports that ITF engages Nigerians in meaningful economic ventures through social investment and skills acquisition programmes.