…Empowers 310 Ebonyi Indigenes

By Ruth Oginyi

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) says it has trained over 11, 000 Nigerians under the phase 7th of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) across the country so as to reduce overdependence on government for jobs.

This is even as agency on Thursday disbursed ‘starter packs’ to 310 persons drawn from various parts of Ebonyi State to engage in various entrepreneurship ventures.

ITF Director General/ Chief Executive, Mr Joseph Ari stated that the beneficiaries were trained in welding and fabrication, plumbing and pipe-fitting, tailoring, aluminum, tiling, Plaster of Paris (POP) among others.

Ari noted that the current phase of the programme had already been completed before the 2019 general elections.

He added that the beneficiaries are expected to also train others in their capacity at their different locations.

Represented by Mr James Oluwasemire, Mr. Ari said “Our monitoring and evaluation of earlier graduands indicates that where training occurs without accompanying empowerment tools, the result becomes less impactful.

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“This made ITF empower all beneficiaries of its skills acquisition programmes with start-up kits and the present graduands are similarly empowered.

“Further surveys have revealed that in all cases where the trainees were provided with the kits, over 90 per cent earned reasonable likelihood as entrepreneurs.

“It is our conviction that training the youths and women without equipping them, defeats the core objective of the programme and the present administration’s policy to create wealth.”

He urged the beneficiaries to utilise the opportunities provided by ITF skills acquisition programmes, use their starter packs for self-sustenance and contribute to the nation’s economic growth.

“Parents and guardians have started seeing ‘hands-on’ skills as vocations and as real alternatives that could lead to a meaningful life.

“The era of ‘white collar jobs’ for all by government is over and the perception that hands-on skills are dirty and a preserve of the illiterate and ‘never do wells’ in our society, must change,” he said.

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Mrs Ifeyinwa Osagie, ITF Abakaliki Area Office Manager on her part noted that the NISDP is one of the flagship programmes of ITF used to accelerate acquisition of technical, vocational and entrepreneurship skills.

“The beneficiaries in Ebonyi successfully passed through a three-month intensive skills acquisition programme in the areas of catering and events management, aluminium fabrication and installation as well as tiling and POP.

“ITF interest in youths is due to the fact that the median age of the Nigerian population is 17.9 years which means that the country has a preponderance of youthful population.

She said the office will soon embark on monitoring of their designated centre s to ensure that the kits were properly utilized.

“We urge you not to sell the start-up packs or mismanage them but use them judiciously for self sustenance and societal upliftment,” she said.

Mr Uchenna Orji, Commissioner for Human Capital Development and Monitoring, represented by Mr Chris Obaji, commended ITF for complementing the state government’s efforts to empower its citizens.

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