By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos—The Director-General of Industrial Training Fund, ITF, Joseph Ari, has appealed to the National Assembly to assist in appropriating funds for the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme, SIWES, to avert incessant picketing and harassment of the ITF staff across the country.

Ari, who spoke in Jos during the oversight visit of the Senate Committee on Industries to the Fund, said ITF was owing billions of Naira as unpaid benefits to SIWES Supervisors and students.

According to him, “the ITF is vested with management of SIWES, but funding for same is the Federal Government’s. Participation in the scheme has soared due to increase licensing of tertiary institutions and disciples accredited for the scheme.

“Appropriations for allowances of supervisors and students have not reflected such exponential increases, leading to a situation where ITF is owing billions as unpaid SIWES allowances.

“One area we plead with the National Assembly to assist is in appropriations for SIWES to avert rampant picketing and harassment of the ITF staff across the country.”

Responding, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Industries, Senator Sam Egwu, promised to give the needed support, saying the visit was to “conduct an assessment on the level of judicious budgetary implementation by the Fund, particularly, the 2016 appropriation.”

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