ITF needs N112b for training facilities’ upgrade
THE Industrial Training Fund (ITF) needs $740million (N112billion) to upgrade its facilities and build new training centres nationwide, its Director-General, Prof Longmas Wapmuk, has said.
Wapmuk, who spoke when members of the National Assembly House Committee on Industry visited ITF’s Industrial Skills Training Centre, Ikeja said the figure was an estimate by a technical partner in Brazil.
He said Fund was seeking the cooperation of SENAI (Servico National de Aprendizagem Industrial), a similar institution in Brazil, adding that ITF was looking forward to receiving experts from Brazil in a fortnight.
He said SENAI was expected to help Nigeria achieve a similar feat it recorded in Brazil and should give the organisation the exact amount to complete the work after its assessment of ITF’s facilities.
Wapmuk said ITF was spreading its tentacles to the states because this would help to combat youth unrest by engaging them.
He said: “In October, last year, we commenced the training of 1,000 youths in each state. The pilot scheme started in Plateau State and Abuja. By the end of the year, we want to make sure that participants of this three- month training cut across all the local governments in the federation.’’
The ITF boss said the institution had not fallen short of its national expectations of training and developing high level skilled manpower in select occupational areas considered to be of priority as well as empower youths through skills acquisition programme aimed at job creation and entrepreneurship development.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Industry, Mohammed Ogoshi Onawo, commended the organisation for its achievement despite some of its obsolete facilties. He promised the House’s support in facilitating the passage of its budget for the upgrade.
“The emphasis should be on training and our burden is how to make more youths employable, we know there is need to upgrade, as ITF needs to do more to change the face of unemployment in our country,” he said.
He said ITF should be a cradle of industrial revolution, urging the management its ITF to intensify efforts at bridging the gap of unemployment in the country, adding that it has become a problem for the government.
He said: “Politics and oil have made our leaders to become lazy. Emphasis should be shifted to youth empowerment as such would help to combat the present restiveness plaguing the country.
“There is also need for ITF to publicise its activities so that the youths would know there is such empowerment programme for them, because it would be effort in futility after upgrade and there is nobody to train.”
He also urged ITF to seek collaboration with multinationals such as Samsung, LG, Elizade Motors and NCC for both technical and material support.