Mr Joseph Ari, the Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF) on Wednesday said that the Federal Government would create 20 million direct and indirect jobs through different skills development programmes in the country.
Ari disclosed this in Gombe during the graduation ceremony of 500 youth under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP).
He said that NISDP was one of the programmes that the government had introduced and being implemented by ITF to facilitate President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy on job and wealth creation.
According to him, the initiative focuses on skills acquisition to create jobs and breed a new generation of entrepreneurs, in order to transform the economic landscape of the country.
He stated that within the last three years, the ITF, through the NISDP and other skills acquisition programmes, equipped over 450, 000 Nigerians across the country with skills for employability and entrepreneurship.
“ In recognition of our efforts to tackle unemployment, the Federal Government recently inaugurated the fund to come up with multi-faceted job creation strategies that would lead to lasting solution to unemployment.
“The proposal showed that in Agriculture, which is the key factor of the Next Level Agenda, a total of 150, 000 direct and indirect jobs will be created along the agricultural value chain.
“In the construction sector, over 18, 000, 000 jobs; transport sector will have 800, 000 jobs through the Rural Transportation Empowerment Programme (RUTEP) and the Mega City Travel-Rail Based (MECIT-RB) and Mega City Travel-Bus Based (MECIT-BB) initiatives.
“For the services sector, about 200, 000 Nigerians will be equipped with skills in Auto-diagnostics and Services (ADASE), Environmental Waste Management (EWAM), creative arts as well as digital media programme and service hubs.
“ In all, a total of about 20 million direct and indirect jobs will be created through these initiatives and we believe the target is achievable, with robust supports and collaboration with state governments and the organised private sector,” he said.
He also stated that the Federal Government would establish an Industrial Skills Training Centre in Gombe State.
According to him, this will be modelled after the Fund’s existing Industrial Skills Training Centres (ISTCs) across the country.
He added that the centre, when operational, would function as a Vocational and Technical Skills Acquisition Centre, with the state-of-the-art equipment.
He also said that in Gombe State, aside the 500 graduates, 590 youths would be trained, and empowered with start-up kits to start their businesses.
While commending the Gombe State Government for creating enabling environment for ITF programmes in the state, Ari called on the beneficiaries to be judicious in the use of the start-up kits to impact the economy of the state.
In his remarks, Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State commended the Federal Government for empowering youths with skills to tackle unemployment in the country.
Represented by his deputy, Dr Manassah Jatau, the governor said his administration would support any human investment initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty while creating jobs.
He said that the state government would establish 114 skills acquisition centres in the state to empower the youth of the state.