By Victoria Ojeme

ABUJA- The Industrial Training Fund, ITC has launched 11 new programmes to train over 18,000 Nigerians between three to six months this year.

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I am very delighted to welcome you to this briefing, which is intended for us to present to you our 2019 Skills Intervention Programmes.

The programmes are part of ITF’s drive to equip as many Nigerians as possible with skills for employability and entrepreneurship in order to create jobs and reduce poverty in line with our mandate and the policy objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari,

The ITF between late 2016 and 2018, trained over 450,000 Nigerians, 90 percent of whom are today in productive endeavours either as paid employees or as entrepreneurs that are even employing others.

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At a press event to launch the programme in Abuja yesterday, the Director General of ITF, Joseph Ari said ITF’s “commitment to skills acquisition is premised on the fact that it remains the most viable and sustainable solution to rising unemployment and poverty that have continued to defy the best efforts of governmental and non-governmental approaches.”

He said “There are countless reasons for us to worry as governments and as institutions vested with the arduous task of equipping Nigerians with the life skills for employability and entrepreneurship. There is no doubt that unemployment has wrought a terrible damage on all facets of our national life.”

“No reasonable analysis will divorce unemployment from the needless incidences of violence that have claimed thousands of lives across the nation. It will equally be difficult to separate rising criminality and harmful social vices that are being perpetrated by Nigerians because of unemployment and the attendant poverty.”

According to the ITF boss, Nigeria’s population which “ordinarily should be a resource has become an albatross because we cannot provide a greater proportion of our population with a source of livelihood.”

“It is against this backdrop that today we are unveiling our 2019 Skills Intervention Programmes as part of our determined and continuing effort to contain the unemployment malaise,” he said.

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The programmes are; National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Air-conditioning and Refrigeration (Training on Wheels), Design and Garment Making (Training on Wheels) for Nigerian youths under the Passion to Profession Programme (P2PP) and Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for the Physically Challenged (STEPP-C).

The others are on Construction Skills Empowerment Programme (CONSEP), Aqua-Culture (Fish Farming), Manure Production, Crop Production (Green House Technology), Poultry Farming; and Training Programme Development on International Marketing and Test Running.

The ITF Director General appealed to Nigerians to support government’s efforts to create jobs and reduce poverty through skills acquisition rather than view it as the responsibility of the ITF and other agencies of the federal government alone.

He said “The co-operation and collaboration of all State Governments, the Organised Private Sector (OPS), politicians and other stakeholders will be critical for a multiplier effect. Our doors are therefore wide open for collaboration in any aspect of human capacity development and vocational and technical skills training.”

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