The Federal Government says it is determined to do all it entails to lift the country out of poverty and unemployment.
The Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Richard Adebayo, stated this on Thursday in Jos at the 2020 ITF Merit Award ceremony.
Represented by the Director of Administration of the ministry, Mr Samuel Alabi, the minister said that the commitment of the federal government to diversify the nation’s economy and put it back to the path of growth through policies such as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan(ERGP), the Economic Sustainability Plan and the various support schemes for the MSMEs sectors of the economy had never been in doubt.
He commended the ITF for the enormous work it was doing in ensuring that Nigerians were equipped with the requisite skills.
He disclosed that the fund had become a dependable ally of the federal government by the implementation of several skills intervention programmes that had trained over 500,000 youths since the present director-general assumed office in 2016.
Adebayo revealed that the fund had been mentioned and identified by the presidency as the foremost Agency of the government at the forefront of the federal government job and wealth creation policy.
He enjoined the management of the fund not to relent in empowering Nigerians with technical skills and urged them to train more Nigerians.
He called State Governments, Non-Governmental Organisations, Faith-based organisations, among others, to collaborate with the ITF to tackle the challenges of poverty and unemployment bedevilling the nation.
In his remarks, Gov. Simon Lalong commended the ITF for being a wonderful partner in lifting many youths of the state out of poverty through the skills training that gave them a sustainable means of livelihood.
Lalong, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, said that the state was willing to collaborate and support all ITF initiatives, especially as they related to human capital development as this was in alignment with the state’s policy goals.
Earlier, the Director-General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, in his welcome address, said that in 2020 the Fund trained thousands of employees from 200 organisations across the country.
Ari said that one of the core functions of the fund was the provision of direct training services to employers of labour for them to be productive and perform optimally.
He said in recognition of the difficult times the stakeholders were passing through on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fund implemented three programmes of nine modules each, that were deployed free of charge to employers of labour.
He said that the ITF had carried out a Performance and Productivity Improvement survey for 19 companies and that it developed 13 training packages and implemented 10 of the packages developed.
The director-general said that the Fund had also conducted a Business Needs Assessment in 6 states across the country with 300 Nigerians benefiting.
He also said that the Fund had implemented Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises clinics in Nassarawa and Ebonyi states.
According to him in 2020 the Fund automated most of its business processes which made it easier for the organisation to conduct its operations even with the restrictions and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He appealed to well-meaning Nigerians, state governments, Non-Governmental Organisations and stakeholders to collaborate with the organisation in its efforts to train Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ITF Lagos Area Office emerged as the best area office in training activities in category A, while the Ibadan and Katsina area offices emerged first in the category B and C, respectively.
While the Lagos Island area office, Kano area office and the Lafia area office emerged as the best area offices in revenue generation in the category A, B and C respectively.