The Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari, has disclosed that in its efforts at curbing spiralling unemployment in the country, the parastatal trained not less than 300,000 Nigerians in 2018 under its various programmes.
Sir Ari, who made the remarks through the Calabar Area Manager of ITF, Mrs Ifeyinwa Anozie, during an interaction session with the media Wednesday said ITF’s mandate included providing, promoting and encouraging acquisition of skills in industry and commerce with a view to generating a pool of indigenous trained manpower sufficient to meet the need of private and public sectors of Nigeria’s economy.
“In order to stem the spiralling unemployment, drive President Muhammadu Buhari’s job creation efforts, and address the specific gaps revealed by the Skills Gap Survey, the ITF came up with a list of implementable programmes for year 2018.
“The programmes included: National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Air-conditioning Empowerment and Refrigeration (Training on Wheels), Designing and Garment Making (Training on Wheels) for Nigerian youths, Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for the Physically Challenged (STEPPS-C) amongst others.
“Together, the programmes trained about 300,000 Nigerians that were all empowered with start-up packs. About six hundred indigenes of Cross River state were trained under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) and the Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP),” he stated.
Ari noted that the ITF commitment to skills acquisition for job creation did not distract them from other key responsibilities like research and curriculum development, reimbursements and development of key infrastructure.”
Asked how the organisation is funded since it does not receive direct allocation from the federal government, the DG explained that the Act establishing ITF makes provision for companies and multinational businesses operating in Nigeria to pay one per cent of their staff annual emolument to ITF to fund its activities but that 50 percent of such deductions are paid back to such companies at the end of each financial year.
He said, “in line with its enabling Act, we ensured that all contributing employers that remitted their contributions to the Fund were reimbursed provided they met the condition for such reimbursement. In all, a total of 510 companies were reimbursed last year to the tune of N6, 587,941,996.45 which is the biggest payout to contributing employers as reimbursement in a calendar year since the establishment of ITF.”