Femi Makinde, Osogbo
The Industrial Training Fund has started the distribution of tools of trade to no fewer than 11,000 youths trained in three trades across the country.
The Director-General, ITF, Joseph Ari, who led other top officials of the agency to the closing ceremony of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme in Osogbo, warned that the tools, worth millions of naira, given to them free of charge should not be sold by the beneficiaries.
He said the distribution of start-up packs would encourage the youth to put what they had learnt into practice.
Ari stated that the programme was the result of the commitment and relentless efforts of the ITF in line with the Federal Government’s policy on job and wealth creation as well as poverty reduction.
He said over 300 beneficiaries were drawn from Osun State, while stating that the ITF would go to other states to carry out the distribution of the tools.
The director-general noted that the 11,000 beneficiaries were trained in three trades of fashion designing, plumbing and pipe fittings, and welding and steel fabrication.
He said, “Today’s event marks a watershed since we commenced the implementation of the NISDP as we have taken a step further from merely training and equipping the youth with knowledge and skills to provide them with start-up packs to enable them to set up their businesses and hit the ground running.
“The decision to provide the packs was informed by our tracking and monitoring of trainees of the earlier phases, which revealed that those that were supported with start-up packs, 90 per cent of the trainees went on to become successful entrepreneurs and even employers of labour.
“This phase of the programme will benefit over 11,000 trainees across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.”
The ITF boss said the steps taken by the agency were to set an example for state governors and others that training without giving corresponding support to the trainees would not give expected results.
The Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, urged the beneficiaries to put the equipment they were given by the ITF to use, saying Nigerian youths should strive to acquire necessary skills irrespective of their academic qualifications.
He said the era of waiting for unearned income was over because the nation could not afford to dole out money from oil any longer, adding that the youth needed to acquire skills and be committed to excellence in order to be successful.
Aregbesola said, “The future of our country and society depends on the youth. We are where we are today because of our reliance on rent, which is an unearned income. Everybody wants to be employed even if they were asked to sit down doing nothing at all.
“No society develops on unearned income. It is a curse! Don’t attempt to sell the tools you were given, we will criminalise it. You must work with them.”
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