In a stern address during the graduation ceremony and distribution of start-up kits, Afiz Oluwatoyin, the Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), issued a warning to graduates of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) against selling off their newly acquired start-up packs.
News About Nigeria gathered that the event, which took place on Thursday in Abuja and was held in collaboration with the Nigerian Breweries Company, saw 190 beneficiaries, including youths and women, being empowered with skills in Solar Power Installation, POP, painting, and other technical areas.
Represented by James Abimbola, the Director of the Technical and Vocational Skills Training Development Department, Oluwatoyin emphasised the transformative nature of the 2023 graduation, describing it as an initiative designed to expedite the accomplishment of the Federal Government’s objectives concerning job and wealth creation, as well as addressing unemployment and poverty in the nation.
Addressing the graduates, Oluwatoyin urged them to consider the start-up packs as their tickets to the world and a vital opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the Nigerian economy.
He explicitly warned against the temptation to sell these packs, adding that they were essential tools for establishing themselves in their respective fields.
He said, “To my esteemed graduates, I wish to use this opportunity to urge you to resolve to utilise the opportunity provided by this training to make a decent living for yourselves and your families and be good ambassadors of the ITF.
“Do not consider selling the start-up packs that will be presented to you as it is your ticket to the world and an opportunity for you to contribute meaningfully to the Nigerian economy.”
In his speech, the DG outlined the ITF’s plans to reform and modernise its training operations, aligning them with emerging global trends.
While acknowledging the significant progress made in training women and youths, he stressed the need to expand the mandate through modern technology, aiming to position Nigeria as the country with the most skilled individuals in Africa.
Oluwatoyin revealed ongoing efforts to develop numerous skills intervention programs geared towards tackling unemployment, promoting entrepreneurship, and curbing youth restiveness.
He highlighted the success of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme, which has equipped over 500,000 Nigerians with cutting-edge skills since its inception.
Looking forward, the DG announced the unveiling of a comprehensive vision for the future of ITF in the next few weeks.
Under his leadership, he assured stakeholders that the organisation would fully execute all targets, especially those related to the National Artisan Registration and Development Programme, as set by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment.
As part of the strategy, a steering committee has been inaugurated to develop a framework for identifying tools and facilities for the skills upgrading of artisans, as well as enforcing licensing and certification for artisans nationwide.