The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, yesterday said that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was committed to diversifying the national economy and putting it back on the path of growth. He said the Federal Government was also determined to do all it entailed to lift the country out of poverty and unemployment. Adebayo stated this during the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) 2020 Merit Award held at the ITF headquarters in Jos.
The Minister, represented by the Director, Human Resource Management of the ministry and member of ITF Governing Council, Mr. Samuel Alabi, said the Federal Government was committed through policies of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the Economic Sustainability Plan and the various support schemes for the MSMES sectors of the economy.
The minister commended the management and staff of the ITF for the enormous work it was doing in ensuring that Nigerians were equipped with requisite skills, while also building its capacity to effectively deliver on its mandate. “I must note that one agency that has been at the forefront of these efforts is the Industrial Training Fund and I will like to use this opportunity to say that the fund has done tremendously well in this regard, and has become a dependable ally of the Federal Government by the implementation of several skills intervention programmes that have trained over 500,000 since the Director-General, Sir Joseph N. Ari, assumed office in 2016.
“It is for this reason and in appreciation of its contributions to national growth that the Council for the development of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), headed by His Excellency, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, rewarded the ITF with the prestigious Award of Excellence as Outstanding MSMEs Clinic Star Partner and the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria, respectively. “It was also for its contributions that it was made a member of the MSMEs Council, which is headed by the Vice-President and member of the MSMEs Survival Fund under the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan.” He said the ITF had been identified by the Presidency as the foremost agency of government at the forefront of Federal Government’s job and wealth creation policy.
“The fund was among the few agencies requested by the Federal Government to forward submissions on the best approach to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty,” he said. Adebayo, however, urged the ITF management not to relent in empowering Nigerians with technical skills, but to train more Nigerians and by so doing etch the name of the ITF in gold. Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Danladi Atu, commended the fund’s workforce and its stakeholders that had posted remarkable performance to the actualisation of the ITF mandate.