The Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari, has said that the Fund has trained over 500,000 Nigerians in various skills in the last four years.
Ari disclosed while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in Jos, saying that the Fund’s emphasis on skills acquisition was premised on its belief that it remained the most sustainable solution to the rise in poverty and unemployment.
He said that the skill acquisition was also the catalyst to economic growth and development.
According to him, in 2020 the Fund implemented skills intervention programmes such as the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), the Special Skills Development Programme (SSDP) and the Federal Government Skills Empowerment Programme (FEGOSEP).
Others implemented, the director-general said, were the Info-Tech Skills Empowerment Programme (ISEP) and the Agric- Preneurship Training Programme (ATP).
He said that the programmes trained thousands of Nigerians whom were empowered with start-up packs for them to start up on their own.
He said that the year 2021 had been declared by the Fund as a year of “Skills Escalation for Prosperity”.
Ari said that the programmes earmarked for implementation are the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), the Construction Skills Empowerment Programme (CONSEP), the Skills Training and the Empowerment Programme for the Physically Challenged (STEPP-C).
He further revealed that the other programmes for implementation are the Passion to Profession Programme (P2PP) and the Agri-preneurship Training Programme (ATP).
He also disclosed that about 12, 000 Nigerians would be trained between three to six months in the following trade areas: web design and programming, Advance Computer networking, Mobile app development, iron bending, masonry and crop production.
According to the director-general, other areas in which they would be trained are: aquaculture, poultry, air conditioning and Refrigeration, Plumbing, GSM repairs and in Ladies wig cap making.
He said that the ITF was named member of the Steering Committee of the Federal Government’s Survival Fund in appreciation of the Fund’s effort in equipping Nigerians with requisite skills and the fund’s contribution to the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector in Nigeria.
He also said that the ITF was among the few Agencies requested by the Federal Government to forward submissions on lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
Ari said that if the proposal was assented to, the ITF would train over 7million Nigerians in agriculture, construction and facility maintenance, Information and Communication Technology, Manufacturing and Services sectors between 2021and 2031.
He said that until Nigerians were equipped with competitive technical skills, we would as a nation continue to fight a losing battle against the blights of poverty and unemployment.
“Our belief is inspired by success stories from countries like Japan, Germany, Vietnam, Singapore and Brazil that transformed into industrial power houses using technical skills acquisition.We can also do the same,” he said