By Stanley Onyekwere
Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari has received a distinguished journalist award, from the FCT Council of Nigeria Union of journalists (NUJ), for his excellent contribution to the advancement of the profession.
Also, the Award was in recognition of Ari’s immense contributions to Youth empowerment through skills and vocational training of thousands of Nigerian youth, since assumption of office as the ITF boss.
Arill was among the 24 persons honoured by FCT NUJ at its 2017 Press Week lecture, dinner and awards night at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers, on Saturday.
Receiving the award, Ari who described it as credible, said the gesture would further motivate him to deliver efficiently on his mandate as the DG of ITF.
Represented by the Manager, ITF Corporate Office, Abuja, Alhaji Aminu Mohammed noted that the Fund had commenced the upgrade of its Model Skills Training Centres, towards creating job opportunities and empower the, in line with the Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
According to him, the ITF had already acquired mobile training Vans, to effectively realise its objectives, particularly making youth self-reliant and employers of labour in the country.
The ITF boss explained that the Fund was already collaborating with the Office of the Nigeria’s Vice President on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and other stakeholders to boost small scale businesses and strengthen t nation’s economy.
Furthermore, he disclosed that ITF was being repositioned to complement the effort of the present administration, in achieving its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) through skills and vocational training of unemployed Nigerians.
The DG added that the its Students Industrial Working Experience Scheme (SIWES) was being strengthen to meet the current realities in the country.
Ari, while calling for more support and collaboration of stakeholders I ITF programmes, however advised unemployed youth to take advantage of ITF skills and vocational training initiatives, so as to become self-reliant and contribute to national economic growth and development.
He therefore reiterated the determination of ITF towards the reduction of poverty and youth restiveness, in line with the focus of the All Progressives Congress (APC)led administration.
Earlier, the Chairman, NUJ FCT Council, Comrade Paul Ella Abechi explained that various categories of awards given to the ITF boss and other awardees, was in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the growth of journalism and society in general.
He added that it was also to appreciate and honour exceptional journalists and non-journalists , whom their impact has been felt by journalists and humanity at large.
He therefore reminded the awardees to see the recognition as an encouragement to do more for advancement of journalism and the society.