ITF: Over 500,000 Nigerians trained through NISDP since 1971 — DG

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) revealed on Thursday that over 500,000 Nigerians have been trained by the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) of the Agency since its inception in 1971.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2023 NISDP in Abuja, the Director General of the ITF, Dr Afiz Oluwatoyin Ogun, lamented the unemployment situation in the country.

He said the fund is breeding a new generation of entrepreneurs to transform the country’s economic landscape.

“I have been informed that since its inception, the NISDP has equipped over 500,000 Nigerians nationwide with cutting-edge skills in various trades.

“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, hairdressing and beauty care, ladies wig cap making, mobile phone repair, leather work (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 combating unemployment, reducing poverty, and youth restiveness in the country.”

Ogun explained that “it is universally accepted that any society that neglects the development of its human capital is bound to retrogress in terms of growth and development.

“In Nigeria, the situation is especially problematic, as even in the face of existing vacancies in several sectors of the national economy, as revealed by surveys conducted by the ITF and other organisations, youths roam the streets without any form of gainful employment, giving rise to crimes and other social vices that bedevil our dear nation today.

“Your Excellency, 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 emphasised 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 utilisation 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 people in Africa,” he stated.

The DG said In the next few weeks, “we will unveil a comprehensive vision of what the ITF of the future will look like. In the interim, plans are in motion to fully execute all targets of the Fund, especially as they relate to the National Artisan Registration and Development Programme (NARDEP).

“In this regard, we have inaugurated a steering committee for implementing NARDEP. The committee is expected to, amongst others: develop the requisite framework for the implementation of NARDEP; identify, categorise, and sensitise artisans on registration and licencing; facilitate the development of digital platforms for registration and monitoring of artisans; and facilitate the development of an appropriate learning management system.”

On her part, the representative of Nigerian breweries, Folashade Morgan, noted that NB was only giving back to society through collaborative training.

One of the beneficiaries, Chukwunonso Umeano, appreciated the ITF and the NB for the training, especially by offering them start-up kits.

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