By Felix Khanoba
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has trained another batch of 11,100 youths drawn from various parts of the country under its 2020 National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP).
Speaking during the graduation ceremony of the beneficiaries on Thursday in Abuja, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, said the training was part of Federal Government’s commitment to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
The minister, who lauded the skills intervention programmes of ITF, called for more support to tackle the problem of unemployment in the country.
“The enormous task of youth empowerment should therefore not be left to the ITF and other government agencies alone.
“I therefore call on all critical stakeholders and other agencies with similar mandates, to synergise in tackling the ominous twin challenges of unemployment and poverty, that have bedeviled our dear country and continent for too long,” she said.
Katagum, who identified poverty and unemployment as some of the challenges facing the country, reiterated the commitment of the present administration in tackling the problems.
In their separate remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Industry, Senator Saidu Alkali and Chairman, House Committee on Industry, Enitan Badru, commended ITF for its laudable vocational skills acquisition programnes aimed at empowering unemployed Nigerian youths and women across the country.
The lawmakers therefore promised legislative support to ITF to enable the Fund achieve its mandate.
Earlier, the Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, said the beneficiaries of the programme were trained in three trade areas, including tailoring, cosmetology, and Information and Information Communication Technology.
Ari stated that others were also trained in specialised programmes like Special Skills Development Programme, SSDP, Federal Government Skills Empowerment Programme, FEGOSEP, Info-Tech Empowerment Programme, ISEP and Agri-Prenuership Training Programme, ATP, among others.
The ITF boss, who said 300 beneficiaries were drawn from each state of the federation and the FCT, reiterated the commitment of the agency towards job creation, youth empowerment and poverty reduction in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration agenda despite the impact of the pandemic.
“What is again very clear is that the efforts of the Federal Government alone cannot completely solve the problems of poverty and unemployment and the attendant fallouts.
Indeed, the problems that stare us in the face today require Nigerians to pull together and synergise as institutions of Government, Corporate bodies and Non-Governmental Organisations to fully resolve them, ” Ari posited.
Some of the beneficiaries of the training programme expressed gratitude to ITF for empowering them and said the training would make them self-reliant.
Highpoint of the programme was presentation of start-up packs to beneficiaries of the training programme.