450,000 youths trained, empowered in 2 years – ITF DG

Industrial Training Fund (ITF)

Industrial Training Fund (ITF)

Joseph Ari, ITF DG

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF), has trained 450,000 youths in various skills in the last two years, and empowered them to set up their businesses, its Director General, Mr Joseph Ari, said on Tuesday in Lokoja.

Ari, who disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), said that 4,500 of the beneficiaries were from Kogi State.

Represented by Mr Atiku Muhammed, a Deputy Director in the ITF, Ari said that a phase of the programme, which was completed shortly before the 2019 general elections, trained 11,000 Nigerians in various trades.

The skills, he said, included wielding and fabrication, plumbing and pipe-fitting, tailoring, aluminum making, tiles making, Plaster of Paris (POP), making, and photography.

“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.

“It is incontrovertible that any society that neglects the development of its human capital is bound to retrogress in terms of growth and development.

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“So, in the last two years, we have trained and distributed starter packs to 450,000 young Nigerians,” he said

Ari further disclosed that the Fund would train more youths in the areas of agriculture, construction and transport services, adding that those areas had huge potential for job creation.

He called on young people to consider skills and vocations as alternatives to white collar jobs, adding that the era of relying on white collar jobs was gone.

Speaking earlier, Malam Umar Ibrahim, Head of Lokoja training centre of ITF, urged government at all levels to invest heavily in the training of youths.

Ibrahim also appealed to corporate organisations and philanthropists to emulate what ITF was doing toward ensuring that Nigerians youth were trained and given their dues in the society.