From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
The Industrial Training Fund, (ITF) said it has trained 37,000 youths in collaboration with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Bank of Industry (BoI) in two years.
According toITF director-general, Dr. Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko, the training was carried out under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme, (NISDP) which was introduced by the Federal Government 2012.
Onaeko made this known in Lagos, during interactive forum with industry stakeholders organised by the Fund.
She disclosed that the theme of forum, ‘Moving forward and succeeding together’ is apt and a clarion call for all its stakeholders to join in the Fund strides towards a developed and industrialised Nigeria.
Onaeko pointed out that no nation develops by merely exporting raw materials without having a booming industrial sector, saying that for this to happen an adequate number of skilled workforce as a pre-requisite is needed.
She added that the Fund came up with a four point agenda which are, to escalate the number of nigerians trained to two million annually, fully automate ITF business processes and ensuring 100 per cent each of collection training contributions and implementation of Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES).
She further added that the four point agenda is intended to ensure effective service delivery that will add value to the bottom line of our esteemed clients’ operations and guarantee full actualization of its mandate.
“Furthermore, as part of our commitment to building the capacity of middle level manpower in Nigeria, the ITF in conjunction with Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has set up a Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP),” she said.
She stated, “the project which currently runs in the facilities of NECA member companies, Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria (PAN) Kaduna, Niger Dock Lagos, Nigerian Breweries and ITF ISTCs in Ikeja and Kano is set to be expanded to more facilities in order to accept more trainees.”
Onaeko pointed out that the increased in the patronage of ITF programmes, payment of training contributions and acceptance of students on SIWES.
She however appealed to others companies that had failed in their statutory duties to do so, saying “it is only when we collectively live up to our responsibilities that our dream of a great Nigeria will be achieved.”