By Faith Igbudu
Over 500,000 Nigerian youths have benefited from a number of skills acquisition programme organized by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) since 2016.
Director General of the fund, Joseph Ari, made this known Wednesday, at the 9th Makurdi Area Office Stakeholders Interactive Forum in Makurdi, Benue State.
In a paper presentation titled: “The New Normal” he said the fund, in order to continue to achieve its vision of bridging the gap between skills and empowerment in Nigeria has developed a new modus operandi to fit into the new way of life occasioned by COVID-19. “We have adopted the use of virtual technology to render services to our clients and stakeholders,” he said.
Represented by the Zonal Director cum Director ICT Department, Dr Gambo Niemogha, he announced that the fund is also set to adopt its new training policy, National Apprenticeship Training Scheme (NATS) where it will transition from intervention to apprenticeship skills acquisition technique, in order to make the scheme more viable and sustainable.
He lamented that the previous intervention trainings where the fund had a three months training for beneficiaries and issue them starter pack was being abused and the impact watered down, saying that with the new technique, the training has been reviewed to six months or one and half year as the case may be.
He further said, “anybody who passes through this process will be well knowledgeable” to attract employment.
The DG assured the stakeholders that all loosed nuts concerning the fund will be tightened to give it a better outlook.
Unveiling the ITF 2023 Learning and Development Brochure, Area Manager, ITF, Mrs Sarah Adanyi, called on political leaders and stakeholders to queue into the various training programmes for the benefit of their supporters and constituents.
Earlier, while presenting the welcome address on behalf of the DG, she stated the forum is an integral part of ITF calendar, aimed towards providing the opportunity to interact with its stakeholders in the state to foster better relationships, as well as promote greater understanding of the role and relevance of the fund in human resource development.
She said the fund has made tremendous efforts in Benue and called on the “Organised Private Sector (OPS), state government, non-governmental organizations, faith based organizations, as well as well meaning Nigerians to join hands, in order to fight the current economic challenges.
During the interactive session, questions were raised by stakeholders bothering on more participation and the different operations of ITF.
Some of the participants, Tor Leva who stood in for the Head of Service, Benue state, Mrs Victoria Onyeke and Emmanuel Aster, representing the Commissioner for Industry and Cooperatives, Mr Williams Agbatar commended ITF for the feat recorded and promised government support for the overall success of the fund in state.
Highlights of the event was the presentation of awards to some deserving stakeholders of the fund, among which were Dangote Cement Company PLC and Benue Investment Property Company (BIPC).