By Chimezie Godfrey
Senator Sam Egwu has requested the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to provide additional startup packs for trainees of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) as well as funding to enable them start their businesses.
The Senator stated this in Abuja on Thursday during the graduation ceremony of NISDP trainees sponsored by the ITF.
Egwu who represented the Minister of Industry, Trades, and Investment, Hon. Enyinnaya Okechukwu Enelema said he was delighted to be part of the graduation ceremony, saying however that the graduands were not empowered enough to enable them startup.
“It is not enough to give them startup packs, they need money. This is not the first time ITF has done this training, am sure if we now go back to identify the graduands of last year, most of them have gone back to looking for white collar jobs.
“The reason being that you train somebody, you give him startup packs, you are supposed to give him money to start that business.
“I want a situation where the federal government will come up with a scheme properly packaged where if ITF has trained somebody and certified the person as a graduand of a programme , either Central Bank of Nigeria or Bank of Industry should be able to give these people some little loan either N1 million or N5 million , that way this training will not be in vain. That way this training will not be a wasted exercise,” Egwu stated.
He reminded the graduands that the venture and training would enable them to stand on their own as employers of labour, adding that the world over, skill acquisition had helped to build nations.
Egwu pointed out that there cannot be industrial revolution without the required manpower in the industry.
He also appreciated the federal government for all their efforts in trying to alleviate the problems of of Nigerians, especially their social intervention fund where they are trying to address the issue of unemployment among our youths.
The Minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello who was represented by the FCT permanent secretary, Mr. Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, said with Nigeria having over 200 million in population shows that there is need for skilled manpower.
He added that in FCT industrial training is priority and equally urged the beneficiaries to justify the investment of government.
One of the graduands, Nwoko Sandra Kemkanma thanked God for making her dream a reality. She equally thanked ITF for running the NISDP progamme, and for the opportunity for youths to have and acquire skills that will keep off unemployment from the country.
“We thank them (ITF) for nominating us to undergo this programme, we also thank the various craft centers for their patience in impacting us with this knowledge.
“Prior to the programme I won’t have ever imagine that I can ever be called a professional photographer because all I know was point and shoot and selfie but today we have our pictures outside for exhibition,” she said.
The Chairman of ITF Governing Council, Alhaji Musa Gwadabe, MFR, while delivering the vote of thanks collaborated the statement made by Senator Sam Egwu that the money given to the trainees is too small and that money is needed to empower the graduands to start their businesses.
Gwadabe concluded by stressing that the era of white collar jobs are gone, that this is the era of skills acquisition.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, was ably represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Gidahyelda Mustapha, among other diginitaries.