ITF Trains 6,670 Youths, Women In 2023

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The Industrial Training Fund(ITF) said it trained and equipped about 6,670 youths and women in various skills across Nigeria in 2023.

Dr. Afiz Oluwatoyin Ogun, Director General of ITF, revealed this on Thursday at the graduation ceremony and distribution of start-up packs to beneficiaries of the 2023 National Industrial Skills Development Programmes (NISDP) in Abuja.

Ogun represented by Olasupo James Abimbola, Director of Technical Vocational Skills Training Development Department in ITF, said these youths and women were trained under various programmes implemented by the Fund such as the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), the Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Construction Skills Empowerment Programme (CONSEP), Agri-preneurship Skills Empowerment Programme (AgSEP), Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for the Physically-Challenged (STEPP-C), among others.

He revealed that since the inception of the NISDP, that over 500,000 Nigerians have been trained and equipped nationwide with cutting-edge skills in various trades.

Commenting on the mandate of ITF, he said: “the Industrial Training Fund is an Agency of the Federal Government that is vested with the mandate of Human Capital Development of our dear Nation.

“It has over the years developed numerous skills intervention programmes aimed at tackling unemployment and poverty, the promotion of entrepreneurship and the reduction of youth restiveness while also facilitating the diversification of the Nigerian economy in line with the Federal Government’s policy.

“The National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), is a transformative brainchild of the ITF that is implemented to fast-track the achievement of the Federal Government policy on job and wealth creation.

“It focuses on skills acquisition to create jobs to curb the rampant unemployment situation in the country and breed a new generation of entrepreneurs to transform the economic landscape of the country.

“This year, the NISDP and the ITF-Nigerian Breweries National Youth Empowerment Programme were implemented in the FCT; training 190 Youths and Women who were equipped with skills in Solar Power Installation, POP and Painting, Hair Dressing/Beauty Care, Ladies’ Wig Cap Making, Mobile Phone Repairs Leather Works (Shoe and Bag Making) and Electrical Installation.

“As an Institution, our commitment to skills acquisition is based on the fact that it is the most sustainable solution to combatting unemployment, reducing poverty and youth restiveness in the country.”

Ogun, however, disclosed his plans to re-focus and reposition the ITF to achieve the goals of the present administration, while revealing his intention to unveil comprehensive vision for the Agency in few weeks ahead.

“Although the ITF has achieved a lot in over half a century of existence, the Organisation in my opinion requires a new direction and focus for the policies and goals of the Tinubu administration to be achieved.

“You may recall that during my assumption of office, I had emphasized the need for the ITF to become a catalyst for National growth by deepening its activities and their impact on the National economy through the expansion of access both locally and internationally to our unique resources and internal competencies.

“I hope to do this through the utilization of modern technology and the enthronement of a new culture that will lead to the emergence of Nigeria as a country with the most skilled persons in Africa.

“In the next few weeks, we will unveil a comprehensive vision of what the ITF of the future will look like.”

In her address, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, said
the Federal Government had launched the Industrial Revitalisation Plan, with the objective to enhance quality standards and performance and ensure adherence to international quality standards.

Uzoka-Anite represented by Afoluwa John, a Director in the Ministry, explained that the Federal Government had also commenced the implementation of the National Artisan Registration and Development Programme (NARDEP), which is aimed at imparting requisite technical and vocational skills, certification of Nigerian artisans in line with global best practices as well as facilitating the placement of all artisan learners on internship programmes with industry partners.

According to her, “The Federal Government believes that NARDEP will drive the actualisation of the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP), which is expected to deliver one million service export jobs over the next five years; increase foreign exchange earnings and revenue for Nigeria; create and stimulate the growth of ancillary industries and support services and; improve skills amongst others.

“It is also hoped that it will serve as a special purpose vehicle to position Nigeria as a leading global hub for service export, talent sourcing and talent export as well as address the unique needs and challenges faced by the talent and service sector industry.

“Emphasis will be placed on enhancing competitiveness, fostering innovation and driving sustainable growth through trade in the services sector.

“The government equally believes that with a highly youthful population and over 1.7 million graduates from our tertiary institutions joining the workforce each year, we have the potential as a nation to provide high-quality talent for the Global Service export and outsourcing industry.”

“Given the mandate of the ITF as the Agency responsible for empowering Nigerians with skills for employability and entrepreneurship, it has a vital role to play in the actualisation of these plans and policies. It is also my belief if the ITF performs up to the government’s expectations, the country will be better for it,” she said.

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