By Ade Olu
The Industrial Training Fund, ITF, has graduated one hundred trainees under its 2021 National Industrial Skills Development Programme, NISDP.
This brings the total of beneficiaries of the programme since inception ten years ago, to three five hundred and thirty in the area.
In his message at the occasion, the Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, represented by the Director, Revenue Inspectorate and Compliance, Mrs Chioma Ogbonna, warned the youths against selling the start-up parks they given to them.
Sir Joseph Ari, extolled the efforts of the Federal Government towards tackling unemployment in the country but noted the nagging nature of the problem, which makes partnership imperative, for greater impacts.
“Despite the overwhelming impact of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, the Federal Government recently launched the national development plan 2021-2025 as a replacement and measure to address emerging challenges given the breadth of the plan and its objectives”
“The emphasis on poverty alleviation and human capital development among other things in the plan, to my mind, is a presidential charge for us a corporate organisations, non-governmental organizations and individuals involved in human capacity development to up our game,” the DG added.
On the occasion, the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, appealed to the Industrial Training Fund to sustain all efforts targeted at addressing the nagging problem of unemployment in the country.
Represented by the Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr Patrick Agha-Mba, noted that NISDP among other laudable programmes of ITF, had helped in reducing joblessness especially among Nigerian youths, which is hugely responsible for the soaring rate of crimes and criminality in the society.
“Mr Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo is passionate about youth empowerment and within the short stay in the office, we have started collecting data with which we will plan our youth development interventions. We are equally looking into value reorientation to ensure that our youths have the mindset of the 21st century. ITF is on the right track”.
In an address of welcome, the Area Manager, ITF Awka Area Office, Mrs Nancy Ekong, had earlier noted that one hundred selected youths were trained in two trade areas namely: catering and event management as well as plumbing and pipe fittings, while over three thousand five hundred had been trained within the last ten years of NSIDP in Anambra State.
She said: “Expectedly, in view of the provision of this training and the starter-packs, majority oof the graduands of this programme will be able to start up their own businesses. Others will also be employed in various sectors of the economy. Also, as partners in the implementation of the NISDP, the onus is on the Bank of Industry BOI to provide the graduands access to start-up loans”.
In a remark, the traditional ruler of Umueri, Igwe John Emeka, who spoke on behalf of other royal fathers, appreciated the programme, but called for equitable spread of the beneficiaries across the state.
“We are worried about the selection process. If even it is one person per community, it is good you consider equitable spread of beneficiaries. I employ our children who had been empowered to make the best use of it”.
Speaking on behalf of other trainees, Aribo Iheanacho pledged not to fail the country and ITF which had given them so much to better their lives and become useful members of the society.