The Senate Committee on Industries, on Friday, commended the Industrial Training Fundfor judiciously utilising funds allocated to the agency to execute projects aimed at curbing unemployment in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Committee, Dr Sam Egwu, made the commendation during the committee’s oversight visit to ITF projects and facilities in Lagos.
Egwu was accompanied on the visit by Senators Barnabas Gemade, Chairman, Senate Committee on Works and Housing and Jibrin Barau, Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the lawmakers inspected ongoing projects being executed by the agency in the state.
The projects include: the renovation of the Industrial Skills Training Centre in Oregun, renovation of the new Ikeja Area Office at Oba Akran as well as the construction of the ITF nine storey edifice in Iponri, Lagos.
Egwu said the visit was pursuant to the committee’s oversight responsibility as spelt out in sections 88(1) and (2), 89(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As amended).
He said: “The purpose of this oversight visit was to conduct an assessment on the level of budgetary implementation by the Fund, particularly the 2017/18 approved appropriation.
“This visit will allow the committee to identify areas that require more attention in the upcoming 2019 budget visa-vis performance, appraisal of 2018 Budget respectively.
“We want to commend the management of the ITF for judicious use of funds to execute projects that are in line with providing manpower development for our nation.
“The committee is satisfied with the quality of the ongoing projects and their levels of completion.”
Egwu, however, urged the Federal Government to provide more funds for the Fund, to enable it expand its training programmes to accommodate more Nigerians.
Egwu assured the ITF management and staff of the committee’s continuous support and cooperation to actualising the mandate of the agency, particularly in legislation and appropriation of funds.
Earlier, Joseph Ari, Director- General, ITF, said the ongoing projects in the agency were geared toward creating more avenues for the training of Nigerians, stressing that the agency was integral to the Federal Government N-Power Programme.
Ari emphasised that skills acquisition and entrepreneurship were pivotal to curbing unemployment and poverty in Nigeria, hence the focus being placed on it by the ITF.
He said: “We want to equip and empower Nigerians to have skills. That way, the economy will be boosted and all our people will be properly engaged.”
Ari said that ITF had seven locations in Lagos: Ikeja, Apapa, Isolo, Lekki, Badagry, Victoria Island and Lagos Island where youths were being engaged in various skills acquisition programmes.
He said the training programmes include: Automobile Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Welding and Fabrication, Information and Communication Technology, Refrigeration, Fashion Designing as well as Plumbing and Pipe Fitting.
The director-general also disclosed that the construction of the Lagos Island Area Office at Iponri, which commenced in 2007, would be completed by February 2019.