cross River, Development, Niger Delta

ITF Empowers 3,500 Youths In Cross River


3 min read

Emma Obi, Calabar

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has empowered about 3,500 youths in Cross River State, who had graduated from the national industrial skills development programme (NISDP), with starter packs worth millions of naira to enable them startup businesses of their own.

These beneficiaries were trained in in various skills: tilling, plaster of Paris (POP) catering, Craftsmanship in aluminum fabrication and roofing.

Sir Joseph Ari, director general of ITF who urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the tools acquired through the training which could make them become employers of labour, also advised beneficiaries “not to sell the empowerment kits to brisk businessmen who may lieu them with cash which can only solve their immediate problems and mortgage their future”.

Ari stated that with the starter packs, the trainees need not wait to be spoon-fed by any uncle or aunty, but rather go ahead and setup their own businesses without wasting any time.

In an interview with some journalists shortly after the presentation ceremony, DG Ari charged the trainees to see the empowerment tools as a steppingstone towards catapulting them to greatness heights.

The ITF Director, Corporate Planning Department, Adaeze Okonkwo who represented the director general of agency enjoined parents/guidance not to regard their wards who work as artisans as failures in life, but rather begin to see hands-on skills as vocations/real alternatives in them that could lead to a meaningful life in the future.

The DG stressed that the era of white collar jobs were over adding that the perception where people feel that hands-on skills were dirty and a preserve of the illiterate and never-do-well must change.

“Parents and guidance must therefore, encourage their wards to acquire skills.

“I urge every parent to as a matter of fact, to begin to see hands-on skills as vocation and real alternatives that could lead to meaningful life,” Ari said.

He averred that in line with president Mohammadu Buhari’s policy of job/wealth creation, ITF decided to train 300 indigenes of Cross River State among the 3,500 youths to acquire skills in different areas of human endeavour adding that the trainees were made to acquire skills in various trades carefully selected based on potentials to directly impact the economy of the state.

The ITF boss while giving a rundown on achievement made so far in the State stated that within the last two years, ITF, through the NISDP and other skills acquisition programmes had equipped over 4,500 youths nationwide, with 3,500 from Cross River State in entrepreneurial skills.

“Our commitment to skills acquisition is based on the fact that it is a most sustainable solution to curbing unemployment, reducing poverty and youths restiveness in Nigeria.”

He charged the trainees to “be focus, consistent and ensure the knowledge gained throughout the period spent with ITF to undergo the rigorous training is not wasted but be put into use so as to reap bountifully from the knowledge gained.”

One of the beneficiaries, Mr. Ogumusor Eliot- Ogban graduand of aluminium fabrication/installation said he will use the tools to better his life. “I used to do gateman and security work and always shed tears in my quite time until my church member introduced me to ITF where I filled a form and was called to undergo the skill acquisition training without giving a dim,”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Rural Transformation, Establishment and Training, Calabar Pastor Mrs. Helen Ubom who represented Gov. Ben Ayade, the state governor commended the industrial training fund for initiating the programmes.

Source; National Accord Newspaper