EQUIP Nigerians to stem rising migration – ITF DG

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By Agi Onda


Concerned by reports of mass casualties on the high seas, enslavement and other harrowing misfortunes being experienced by Nigerian youths seeking to migrate to Europe, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has called on stakeholders to collaborate with the organisation in order to equip more Nigerians with skills for entrepreneurship.
Director-General/Chief Executive of the Fund, Sir Joseph N. Ari, who stated this when he received some stakeholders recently, explained that equipping Nigerians with relevant skills was not only in line with the federal government’s efforts to create jobs but would stem the current wave of migration, especially by the youth that has culminated to loss of lives and enslavement of thousands of productive Nigerians.
He wondered why the mass migration despite the fact that several surveys by the ITF and other organisations have revealed that skills gaps exist that were being filled by foreigners.
He disclosed that it was with a view to equipping Nigerians with skills to fill these existing vacancies that the ITF has embarked on a number of initiatives and expanded existing programmes to ensure that more Nigerians are empowered with skills to check unemployment and promote entrepreneurship.
Ari listed some of the programmes including, the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Passion to Profession, Training on Wheels Using Mobile Training Units, the Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), the Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP) as well as the Vulnerable and Indigent Youth Empowerment Programme (VIYEP)amongst several others.
Shedding more light on the NISDP, which has trained over 100,000 Nigerians since it commenced, the DG said under the current phase that is ongoing in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the ITF is training 11,100 trainees with skills in Welding and Fabrication, Tailoring and Garment Making, and Plumbing and Pipe Fitting.
He said about 90 per cent of the beneficiaries were either currently successful entrepreneurs, or earning livelihoods as paid employees according to the monitoring and evaluation of graduates conducted by the ITF.
Ari noted that some of the programmes were carried out in collaboration with several Organisations and Agencies both Private and Public in order to check unemployment and promote entrepreneurship.
The DG warned that if drastic action was not taken, the problem would further escalate going by projections that by 2050, Nigeria’s population will soar over 500 million, stressing however that if equipped with the requisite skills, the population could become hugely advantageous.

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