The Minister for Industry Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Adebayo has said the Industrial Training Fund ITF is a strong and dependable ally of the Federal Government.
The Minister said the ITF has trained more youths even in the COVID-19 pandemic year that put many economies of the world on trial.
Adebayo stated this on Thursday in Jos during the ITF 2020 Merit Award Ceremony designed to celebrate outstanding staff.
He said: “I must note that one Agency that has been at the forefront of the federal government programme in diversify the National economy and put it back on the path of growth is the Industrial Training Fund and I will like to use this opportunity to say that the Fund has done tremendously well in this regard.
“The Fund has become a dependable ally of the Federal Government, by the implementation of several skills intervention programmes that have trained over 500,000 since the Director-General, Sir Joseph Ari, assumed office in 2016.
“It is for this reason and in appreciation of its contributions to National growth, that the Council for the Development of the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), headed by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, rewarded the ITF with the prestigious Award of Excellence as Outstanding MSMEs Clinic Star Partner and the Award for outstanding contribution to the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria respectively”, he said
Adebayo said It is equally noteworthy that the ITF has been mentioned and identified by the Presidency as the foremost Agency of Government at the forefront of Federal Governments Job and wealth creation policy.
“The Fund was among the few Agencies requested by the Federal Government to forward submissions on the best approach to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty”, he said.
On his part, the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong said with the array of Programmes introduced and implemented by the ITF it goes to show that there is light at the end of the tunnel in the areas of Job creation and poverty reduction.
Lalong said while other businesses were shutting down in the face of COVID-19 challenges, the ITF in its characteristic manner floated a skill acquisition programme tagged Federal Government Skill Empowerment Programme (FEGOSEP), which was designed to assist the federal government in cushioning the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Responding, the ITF Director General Joseph Ari, said since the assumption of office in 2016, the Funds commitment to equipping Nigerians with technical skills for employability and entrepreneurship has never been in doubt, saying that for the first time in the Fund’s history, it trained over 500,000 Nigerians in only four years.
Ari said the Funds emphasis on skills acquisition has been premised on firm belief that it remains the most sustainable solution to increasing poverty and unemployment.
“Our belief is not without basis but derives from, and inspired by the success stories of countries that effectively tackled unemployment and poverty through a commitment to skills acquisition. We believe that Nigeria can do the same with similar results with adequate investments in technical skills acquisition”, the DG said.