The Industrial Training Fund ITF has paid a total sum of N1.9 billion as students and supervisory allowance under the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme SIWES and as well developed a website dedicated to SiWES to reduce the person to person contact.
The Director-General of ITF Sir, Joseph Ari who disclosed this during the visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Industry to the organisation said in line with the Act establishing ITF, the Fund has reimbursed contributing employers up to fifty per cent of the statutory annual training contributions remitted by them if the Fund’s Governing Council is satisfied that training programmes of the employer were in accordance with the Fund’s Reimbursement Scheme.
He further disclosed that the Fund during the year under review, paid a total of Five Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety-Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty One Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-Five Naira to 401 companies as reimbursement for the year 2019.
“To ensure that we do not rest on our oars, the ITF unveiled the 2nd Phase of its Reviewed Vision: Strategies for Mandate Actualisation. The Plan, which is targeted at rectifying the lapses that were observed in the implementation of the first phase, build on the achievements thereof, and directly address emergent challenges of the Fund’s stakeholders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will serve as our operational road map in coming years with a 9-Point Strategic Plan.”
The Director-General also disclosed that arrangements have been concluded for the implementation of more skills intervention programmes amongst several other activities earmarked for implementation this year.
According to him, Programmes earmarked for implementation are the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), the Construction Skills Empowerment Programme (CONSEP), the Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for the Physically Challenged (STEPP-C), the Passion to Profession Programme (P2PP), and the Agri-Preneurship Training Programme (ATP).
He narrated that the programmes will equip and empower about 12,000 Nigerians between three and six months in the following trades and vocations: Web design and programming, Advance Computer networking, Mobile app development, Iron bending, Masonry, Crop production, Aquaculture, Poultry, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration, Plumbing, GSM repairs and Ladies’ wig cap making.
Sir Ari who said ITF is in the process of amending its Act called on members of the National Assembly to support and hansten the process in order to develop the national economy.
He added that the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) that is managed by the ITF but funded by the Federal Government and has been instrumental to the development of human capital in Nigeria and currently assailed by numerous challenges.
He, therefore, appealed to the National Assembly to ensure adequate appropriations for the Scheme because of the establishment of new tertiary institutions, accreditation of new disciplines and the exponential rise of participating students.
In his response the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Industry Hon. Enitan Dolapo Badru commended ITF for its giant stride and contributions to the economy and its quest to empower the youths as a strategy to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
Hon Badru said the National Assembly will cooperate with the Fund toward ensuring that the Act establishing the agency is reviewed to further promote efficiency and to spur it for greater heights and productivity.