By Martha Agas
Jos – The Industrial Training Fund(ITF) is installing modern equipment at the Government Technical College, Jos to shore up the quality of its products, Mr Joe Ari, ITF Director General, has said.
“Technicians are key to the growth of any economy; their shortage has affected the Nigerian industrialisation dream and this is why we are intensifying efforts to enhance the quality of technicians from the institution,” he said in Jos.
Ari, who spoke on Thursday, at the graduation of 66 beneficiaries of the Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), said that ITF would also update the skills of the students to make them “more productive in practical techniques”.
The ITF boss lamented that the school had remained backward overtime because it was using obsolete technology.
“With the obsolete technology the school currently uses, it is no wonder that the students keep lagging behind in practical skills; we want to change that,” he said.
Ari, who expressed the fear that the economy would collapse if there were no quality technicians to move it, said that ITF was committed to producing highly skilled youths to explore opportunities in the emerging industrial sector.
“With President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to diversify the economy in view of dwindling fortunes of the oil sector, only technicians can guarantee the steady growth of other sectors,” he added.
Ari said that 30 women would be trained in 12 states across three geo-political zones under WOSEP, and commended the Plateau government for sponsoring 36 additional participants.
In his remarks, Gov Simon Lalong, said that a monitoring team had been set up to ensure that beneficiaries did not sell their start-up packs, instead of opening their businesses.
Lalong, who was represented by Mrs. Rufina Gurumyen, the Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, advised the beneficiaries to train at least one person per year.
Also speaking, Mr Haggai Gutap, Director General, Plateau State Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (PLASMEDA), said that the organisation would sponsor more participants in the next phase.
“In the next phase, if ITF is training 100, the Plateau government will sponsor additional 100 participants,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the beneficiaries were trained on cosmetology, poultry production and events management.
Mrs. Ladi Izang, one of the beneficiaries, who trained in poultry production, thanked ITF for the kind gesture, and promised that the beneficiaries would be pace setters in societal growth.
NAN reports that the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has promised a 50 per cent discount in the registration fees of WOSEP beneficiaries, to enable them register their Small and Medium Enterprises “without much stress”.(NAN)