By OLAJIDE FABAMISE, Lagos –
The Director General of the Industrial Training Fund, Sir Joseph Ari has disclosed that the expansion and repositioning of their existing programmes has provided 70,000 Nigerians with employable skills in a year.
Ari said launching of new programmes like Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP),Training on Wheels, Passion to Profession, Graduate Employment Re-Skilling with old programmes like the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), and the Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP) have all contributed to increasing the skill gaps in the country.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP in Lagos at the eighth Interactive forum of the ITF Isolo area office, Ari said this have helped to provide life skills for development and growth of the economy as being championed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ari said the Fund has worked towards resolving the problem of delayed payment to organisations that qualify for reimbursement.
He said:”An issue that was a recurring problem between the ITF and segments of its stakeholders before the assumption of this management, indeed, between September 2016 and August 2017, the ITF reimbursed 491 companies to the tune of about N5.9 billion.
“Our commitment is to continually improved and fast track the process so that every company that is qualified under the reimbursement scheme will be expeditiously paid their claims”.
Isolo Area Manager, Mrs. Stella Ogbuishi said the year under review witnessed a very tough economic situation especially by employers of labour, yet some organizations were consistent in patronizing ITF programmes.
She said there is hope that 2018 will be a better year.
Guest speaker, Dean, School of Agriculture, Lagos State University, Prof kehinde Olushola Babatunde said government and key stakeholders should continue to encourage entrepreneurship in farming through.
This according to him can be achieve through removing business regulations and complex bureaucratic procedures;
providing information services to advice and support farmers in identifying, preparing, designing and implementing efficient farm businesses; improving access to available funding in banks; promoting the capacity of Training Institutions such as ITF and Leventis Foundation Schools to provide education and training at the right time and place and with the right balance of technical knowledge and practical skills, among others.