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Requisite Skills Way To Go To Fixing Unemployment – Sir Air

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Sir Joseph Ari, Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) on Thursday said adequate acquisition of relevant skills by Nigerians will go a long way to address the nation’s unemployment problem.

Sir Ari, said this at a press conference on ITF-NECA Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP) and the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with participating organisations in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

TSDP, is a joint initiative by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) designed to promote the availability of middle-level manpower with the appropriate Technical and Vocational Skills to meet the identified needs of industries in the country.

Ari, said that unemployment in Nigeria is occasioned by lack of skills acquisition and skills mismatch, adding that sometimes where job vacancies exist, there are no Nigerians with requisite and technical know-how to fill them

He said: What you are about to witness is the perfect example of how the public private partnership can work. The two body that is the Nigeeia Employers’ Constructive Association (NECA) and Industrial Training Fund (ITF) have been advocating for this country to delve into Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) but out calls have always fallen on deaf ears.

However, of recent, we have seen members of both the public and private body taking a cue and falling in line and listening to these yearnings and clarion calls from NECA and ITF.

“For the avoidance of doubt, this is the only direction to go, if we are to fix the infrastructural deficit and get our people empowered with requisite skills.

“This is what other nations in other climes have done to get to where they are and where they are now today known as the first world. The are where they are today on account of TVET and we cannot be left behind.

“Paper qualification is good but without skills you can’t fix infrastructure. Therefore, we shall continue to sing this clarion call, until all Nigerians embrace technical skills as the way to go in fixing the rots in our country.”

Speaking further on the Technical Skills Development Project, Sir Ari said the scheme has produced over 54,000 technicians in various vocations since inception twelve years ago.

He also explained that some of the trainees of the project have been provided with business start-up grants while others were linked to corporate employers for direct employment.

“From mere six participating organizations that trained and graduated 285 highly skilled technicians when it commenced in 2010, the project today boasts of having supported fifty-nine participating organizations and technical colleges with machinery and technical equipment, while also graduating 54,603 highly skilled technicians that are either employed in corporate organizations or have become entrepreneurs that are employing others,” Sir Ari said.

Ari, however, identified funding constraints, high rate of unemployed youths that the project cannot absorb, lack of awareness and infrastructural deficit as some of the challenges confronting the scheme.

Speaking on the sidelines, Director, Learning Development and Project, NECA, Celine Oni said for the 12 years the project has been on, there has been positive good results which is very evident.

She said: “This project was conceived based on lack of skills in our economy and surveys conducted by the ITF and NECA in 2009 and several other surveys therefore, confirmed the fact that we had low capacity level, lack of skills and huge unemployment in our country.

“The project rose to the call to address this issues and we decided to contribute our own bit to solving this national problem and so far we are very happy that in the twelve years of the project, they have improved results.

“Over 54,000 youths so far in the project have graduated as competent technicians that are either working in organisations currently or are running their businesses and are now Employers of labour.

Oni, further said the Memorandum of Understanding signed by 30 participating organizations is to ensure global standard training for trainees to enable them compete globally.

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Business & Economy

Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister

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Ahmed Idris - Account General of the Federation
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The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.

Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.

According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

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NEPC, 13 trade promotion organisations shortlisted for WTOP award

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NEPC Headquarters, Maitama - Abuja.
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The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has been nominated along side 13 other Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) for the 2022 World Trade Organisation (WTPO) Awards for Excellence in Trade Promotion.

A statement released on Monday by Ndubueze Okeke Head, Corporate Communications of the NEPC, it said Nigeria is poised to clinch the “Best Use of a Partnership”.

He said the NEPC has been shortlisted along with Apex Brazil, Jamaica Promotion Corporation, Qatar Development Bank-Tesder and Saudi Export Development Authority.

The WTPO Award which is scheduled to hold on 17th May, 2022 in Accra, Ghana is open to all national TPOs.

The statement also said, “NEPC acknowledged WTPO as it recognizes excellence in providing trade support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs to become competitive in international trade.

“In 2018, Nigeria, through NEPC won the award for the ‘Best initiative to Ensure that Trade is Inclusive and Sustainable”.

The NEPC won that category with its Zero to Export initiative which builds capacity of would-be exporters and SMEs on export procedures and documentation as well as provide practical training on product sourcing and market access.

The NEPC said that the initiative had trained 560 SMEs.

The International Trade Centre Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton said, “At a time when small firms have been hit by supply chain disruptions, climate change crises and other socio-economic challenges, it important to show inspiring models that connect small firms to Trade opportunities that are Inclusive and sustainable”.

The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak will represent Nigeria at the Award Ceremony.

The statement further said, Austria, Canada, Malaysia, Tanzania is competing in the “Best use of Information Technology”, while Sri Lanka, Republic of Korea, Netherlands and Zimbabwe will compete for the “Best initiative to ensure that trade is inclusive and sustainable category”.

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Skils acquisition: ITF, Sightsavers train 32 physically challenged on 8 set of skills

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In fulfilling its mandate of promoting skills acquisition in the country, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), in partnership with Sightsavers, an international non-governmental organization that promotes disability rights have trained and graduated 32 Nigerians on different skills.

The skills include, computer hardware, event management, catering, phone repair, photography and poultry management.

Sir Joseph Ari, Director General of the ITF, at the graduation ceremony in Abuja on Thursday, said that the agency has made the training of physically challenged persons a priority.

He said “Among the the 34 that started the training only 2 couldn’t continue, therefore making the graduands 32.

“There is a physically challenged Act today in Nigeria, therefore as an agency thatt caters for the growth and development of youths and women through skills acquisition, we have decided to focus on our attention on the physically challenged so they can acquire different skills and contribute their quota to national development because we believe there is ability in disability,”

Yahaya Manu, Area Manager, ITF Kaduna, who reppresented Ari, also charged the graduands to make good use of their start up parks provides to them by the agency.

“Now that you have acquired these special skills, I urge you to deploy it into judicious use so you can contribute your quota to the growth and development of the country, because the ultimate aim of this training is to reduce youth unemployment,, and the agency is always committed to support the physically challenged in any capacity” he further stated.

On his part, the country director of Sightsavers Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku, said the rationale behind their partnership with the ITF is to transform the labour market system to be disability inclusive.

“We are building the disability confidence of employers, job readiness of young persons with disabilities and supporting government agencies to ensure their programs promote disability inclusive economic empowerment.

“While we have trained hundreds of persons with disabilities on soft and digital” skills, preparing and connecting them to formal job, we decided to partner with ITF to empower the graduates today in vocational training and prepare them for entrepreneurship,” he said.

He said the courses were carefully selected for the disability persons due to its relevance to the labour market while admonishing the graduands to apply the knowledge they have gathered during the training to start their business.

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