Chris Steven, Abuja
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) said it paid the sum of N965,222,982 to 79,852 students from 136 tertiary institutions across the country as outstanding allowance for Students’ Industrial Working Experience Scheme (SIWES).
Director General of the Fund, Sir Joseph Ari disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday at a press conference to present the programmes of the Fund for the year 2017 as well as some of its achievements in 2016.
While also noting that the Fund has also paid N2,206,305,343.34 to 277 companies as reimbursement claims, Sir Ari said the commitment of the agency was to ensure speedy payment of reimbursement claims.
According to him, a total of 10,000 youths graduated with employable skills from the Batch A of the fifth phase of National Industrial Skills Development Programme( NISER).
The Fund, he further disclosed, has equipped over 14 million Nigerians with employable and entrepreneurial skills in its 45 years of existence adding that the management has set out strategies to reinvigorate and reposition the organisation.
He however lamented that, many vacancies that existed in the country were still being filled with foreigners despite the soaring unemployment among youths.
” We are mindful of the fact that industrialised nations like Brazil, Singapore and China moved from developing to developed economies through harnessing their skilled manpower and less dependence on mono-economy.
Empirical evidence from several skills gaps surveys has revealed that, despite soaring unemployment especially among the youth, vacancies still exist that are currently filled by persons other than Nigerians” he said
To address this trend, he said, it became imperative to align functions of the Fund with the Federal Government’s policy thrust of economic diversification and industrialisation.