For the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to deliver on its mandate of providing technical skills for industrial development, it is expanding infrastructure across the country.
It said the move is to support its plans to accelerate the impartation of technical skills to Nigerians through job creation and poverty reduction.
It added that the expansion and modernisation of the nation’s infrastructure will allow more Nigerians to access the fund’s services, as well as enhance its capacity to train people in relevant contemporary skills.
It Director-General, Joseph Ari, said he has identified the challenges of infrastructural deficit as one of the major obstacles to ITF’s achievements. He therefore unveiled an ambitious plan, tagged “The Reviewed Vision: Strategies for Mandate Actualisation.”
At the inauguration of ITF Lagos Island area office, Ari emphasised the fund’s commitment to addressing the infrastructural deficits that have hindered the citizens from benefiting from its vast programmes.
He noted that for the country to achieve a level of industrialisation, Nigerians must be equipped with skills to drive the process.
Ari, who described the country’s vast population as an economic advantage, maintained that it may become an albatross if government cannot provide a greater proportion of the population with a source of livelihood through the acquisition of requisite skills.
The opening of the Lagos office, Ari further said, confirmed the fund’s commitment to the implementation of the plan as well as propel the Federal Government’s agenda with respect to productivity and growth through the provision of infrastructure that would enhance job creation and entrepreneurial development of Nigerians.
The project, Ari said, would address the challenges of service delivery, expand the fund’s revenue base through training, provide employment, as well as take services to the doorstep of Lagos residents.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adebayo, said over 450,000 Nigerians had been trained and equipped with skills and empowered with start-up packs through the ITF’s skills intervention programmes.
He praised the ITF boss for piloting the affairs of the fund, as the activities of the fund have been greatly felt across the nation.
To further record more increased infrastructure, enable easier access to its programmes, and play a vital role in the fight against poverty and unemployment in the country, Adebayo said the ITF has also opened a mechatronics workshop in Kano and Katsina states.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Ajibola Ponnle, said with the high unemployment rate, the need to empower youths for wealth and job creation through skill acquisition was pertinent.
She spoke about how the state was equipping the youth through its entrepreneurship trust fund. The commissioner reiterated that training was needed for the workforce to contribute to the development of the nation.
She pledged that the state would collaborate with ITF to equip the youth with skills to make them more employable.
“As a government, we deeply appreciate these tremendous efforts at skills empowerment in the state and we will continue to collaborate with the ITF in all its programmes and activities and as much as possible, strive to provide the enabling environment to ensure that all the fund’s facilities and programmes thrive in the state,” she said.