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ITF Trains 1, 000 Youths Under UNISDP In Borno

By Ibrahim-Gwamna Mshelizza
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To address skills shortages in all Nigeria's economic sectors, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is to train over 1, 000 youths from Borno state; under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP); and fast track the National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) of the federal government transformation agenda, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of ITF, Prof. Longmas Sambo Napmark has said.

Addressing the trainees Thursday in Maiduguri at the flag off second phase of NISDP at National Youths Services Corps (NYSC) training camp, Napmark disclosed that the training of 1, 000 youths was part of ITF mandate and policy directives from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; and in response to gross skills shortages being identified through a study by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and ITF in 2012.

He said the study also revealed that there are dire shortages in all the sectors of the Nigerian economy, particularly in manufacturing, agro-allied industries and the construction industry that dots across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

Napmark who was represented by Alhaji Garba Abdu Ganga said: “the main purpose of training these youths you are seeing at this training ground of Maiduguri orientation camp of NYSC was to turn Nigeria's quantitative human and physical resource advantage into productive advantages of driving Nigeria's industrial revolution plan, highly skilled entrepreneurial workforce for small and medium enterprises in areas the six geopolitical zones have competitive and comparative advantages.”

He further disclosed that after the training of these youths in various skills and trades, the level of youth's restiveness will be reduced to the barest level, while they will collectively contribute to wealth creation and poverty reduction that could enhance national development and unity among the various ethnic and religious groups.

Meanwhile, he said the NISDS has been successfully implemented in 23 states and Federal Capital Territory since January this year, adding that a total of 23, 000 youths were trained at the rate of 1, 000 trainees in each of the states, including the ones we are witnessing today (Thursday) in Maiduguri of Borno state.

Speaking on the second phase of youths training, Ganga said: “our second phase of training these youths are to be drawn from 14 states, comprising a total of about 14, 000 youths that will graduate in various skills and trades. While the third phase of the programme, which will be flagged off for implementation are in 13 states, including Yobe, Taraba, Jigawa, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Imo, Ebonyi, Delta, Cross River, Osun, Ekiti and Zamfara.”

In Borno state, he said that under the second phase of training youths, three skills and trade areas were being identified in collaboration with the state government and other Stakeholders.

He listed the trade areas to include welding and fabrication, furniture making/woodwork and tailoring and garment making.

On how the training programme addresses poverty and unemployment, he said: “it is expected that majority of the trainees of the programme will start up their businesses upon graduation while some will be employed in various sectors of the economy. They will also become potential members of various business member organizations.

“As part of the arrangement under National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP), the Bank of Industry (BOI) is to help the NISDP graduates access 'start up' loan facilities, while the small and medium enterprise development agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) is to provide them with business development services for the purpose of expanding their businesses.

“In addition to the technical vocational skills training, the ITF will put the trainees through entrepreneurship development to assist the trainees form cooperatives and also encourage them join Business/Trade Associates.”

In his brief remarks at the flag off of NISDP, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state said that arrangements have been completed for the training of 800 youths at the same NYSC orientation camp.

He said as the training of youths like that of ITF, are also going to be implemented in phases, until the state government trains a total of 18, 000.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Zanna Umar Mustapha said that the 21-day training of 18, 000 youths was to “change their behavioral attitudes towards life' with the skills and trades they are going to acquire.

He assured that after the youths are trained, they are going to be employed by government, with residential accommodation.